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