October 10 – The fast-growing second tier of US professional football (soccer), the USL, has set a new league record surpassing the 2 million attendance milestone for 2017 as the season enters the final round of matches before the play-offs.
As well as beating crowd records the league has also added two new ‘preferred suppliers’ to its roster of league approved partners. Musco becomes Official Stadium, Complex and Field Lighting Supplier across all league properties, while Act Global becomes the Official Synthetic Turf Supplier.
Attendance is a key growth indicator for the league’s which saw average attendance increasing 25.7%. Two teams had five-figure averages this season, with FC Cincinnati’s USL-record average attendance of 21,199 at Nippert Stadium saw almost 340,000 fans throughout the regular season. Sacramento Republic FC’s average of 11,569 marked a season of sellouts at Papa Murphy’s Park as the club welcomed more than 185,000 fans.
USL President Jake Edwards. “The USL’s growth over the past three years, which has seen our average attendance first break the one million-mark two years ago, then quickly surpass the two million-mark this year, is a testament to the raised standards the league has implemented and the outstanding level of competition we see on the field week-in and week-out.”
The 2017 regular season ends next week with 17 games determining the qulaifiers for the USL Cup Playoffs, and the matchups for the Eastern and Western Conference Quarterfinals that will be played between October 20-22. The 2017 USL final will be played November 13.
The addition of Musco and Act Global to the USL Preferred Supplier Program is a continuation of the league’s initiative to improve facilities at its clubs and provide pre-vetted expertise to new franchise owners and existing USL clubs.
Preferred suppliers must meet the USL’s quality standards which the League says must be ‘Best in Class’ companies. Discussions are currently underway with companies that support stadium development, as well as the buildout of team front offices and operations.
Musco is a world leader in designing, manufacturing and installing large area lighting systems and has installed a number of systems in professional sports stadiums across the NFL, MLB, NCAA, English Premier League and MLS.
Act Global has installed more than 1,600 fields worldwide and is a leader in sports turf research, development and technology. The company is the preferred suppliers for World Rugby, the International Hockey Federation and FIFA. It is the only FIFA Preferred Producer headquartered in the United States.
No financial terms were announced for either deal.
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