USL boost attendance figures by massive 33%

September 30 – The third tier of US professional football is reporting an increase in attendances of 33% for the 2016. The figures show the boom in interest in the game is filtering through the whole football pyramid and is not confined to MLS teams or high-profile international friendlies between the world’s giant clubs.

Total USL season attendance was almost 1.5 million for its 29 teams, with average attendance for the league’s top 10-supported teams being 6,724, a 25% increase over 2015.

FC Cincinnati topped the attendance table with an average gate of 17,289. Rumoured MLS franchise hopefuls Sacramento Republic came in second with an average gate of 11,514.

“It has been another record-breaking season for the USL and its 29 teams as the attendance numbers reflect the growth and momentum we continue to experience,” said Jake Edwards, USL President. “A 30-plus percent jump in league attendance is unprecedented in professional sports and illustrates the exceptional quality of USL and unique soccer environment our passionate fans are creating across North America.”

Nine different clubs – the Charleston Battery, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, FC Cincinnati, Rio Grande Valley FC, Sacramento Republic FC, Saint Louis FC, San Antonio FC, Toronto FC II and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2– recorded at least one sellout during the season.

Three teams – FC Cincinnati, Louisville City FC and Sacramento Republic FC – beat the 100,000 total attendance mark, the first time in USL history that multiple teams reached that milestone in a single season. Before 2016, only three times had a team reached the mark in league history.

Team                                                     Total At.     Av. Att.

  1. FC Cincinnati                                       259,437        17,296
  2. Sacramento Republic FC                     172,711        11,514
  3. Louisville City FC                                108,269       7,218
  4. San Antonio FC                                    92,546         6,170
  5. Oklahoma City Energy FC                   74,249          4,950
  6. Saint Louis FC                                      73,841         4,923
  7. Richmond Kickers                                59,941         3,996
  8. Tulsa Roughnecks FC                          59,247          3,950
  9. Rochester Rhinos                                 54,819          3,655
  10. Charleston Battery                               53,563           3,570

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