Every sports league has it’s drivers and bottom feeders when it comes to attendance. Major League Soccer is no different. Seattle Sounders, Orlando City and New York City FC dominate the ranks while the Chicago Fire, FC Dallas and DC United continue to struggle.
But when does poor attendance move beyond an accepted reality and start becoming detrimental to the growth of the league?
Soon, we think.
Right now, the newest teams are growing at a rapid rate while the oldest, poorest performing are being left behind.
We all know that investors and soccer executives are lining up to own the next expansion team.
What happens when the league reaches capacity and those bottom feeders are still struggling? We believe many NASL teams will be able to make a strong case to replace the worst of the worst.
Just look at the two latest NASL teams to join the league. The year before they entered the MLS, Orlando City and Montreal Impact averaged 4,743 and 11,514 fans, respectively. Since joining the MLS, Montreal has averaged 19,635 in four years. And we all know what Orlando City has done for attendance records.
So if you’re an NASL team saying to yourself, “we can at least draw as many fans as Chicago,” then you may not be wrong. Check out the 2015 NASL attendance averages below. Now tell us who you think could be the next Montreal. Or heck, the next Orlando.
We know it’s controversial to say, but maybe it’s time to put some of those struggling clubs out to pasture.