For eight years, the fans up in Seattle have reigned supreme when it comes to match attendance. It started during the Seattle Sounders inaugural MLS season in 2009 with an average of 30,897 supporters per game, and has rapidly grown to roughly 43,000-44,000 each of the past few years.
But all that is about to change.
With seven home games remaining, newcomer Atlanta United FC is poised to steal the crown from Seattle.
Currently, Atlanta is averaging slightly over 46,000 fans per game, which outpaces Seattle by nearly 3,000, not to mention every other team by… well… a whole hell of a lot.
We expect that number to increase as the team has finally moved into its permanent home at the fancy new Mercedes Benz Stadium. While most games will feature curtains covering the top section, the hybrid NFL and MLS facility has the potential for larger crowds as the club grows.
In fact, this weekend Atlanta is hoping to sell out the entire stadium for its rivalry game against Orlando City. That’s 71,000, a number that would surpass the current MLS record of 69,255.
Without question, this is a significant accomplishment for Atlanta and another success story for MLS expansion. But even more so it’s a major milestone for the league overall.
Thanks to the success of Atlanta and overall growth throughout the league in 2017, MLS is tracking to crack the global top 5 in soccer league attendance this year.
And we expect that within two years MLS will solidly rank in the top 4, alongside the English Premier League, German Bundesliga and Spanish La Liga.
Now if that’s not proof for the growth of the sport in the U.S. and power of its fan base here, we don’t know what is.