Wednesday, June 9, 2010

World Cup Boosts MLS Attendance: IBISWorld Forecasts Fan Base to Grow 15.4 Percent in 2010

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Up 10.7 percent from this time last year, Major League Soccer (MLS) attendance is experiencing an increase due to the upcoming World Cup. According to industry research firm IBISWorld, average MLS attendance is expected to increase 15.4 percent in 2010, to about 18,500 fans per game.

“The early attendance spike is an encouraging sign of things to come, and the excitement from the World Cup will keep the ball rolling,” said Dmitry Kopylovsky, industry analyst with IBISWorld. “Additionally, MLS attendance is expected to keep building momentum throughout the summer as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs end and there’s less competition for the consumer’s entertainment dollar.”

Although U.S. soccer has lacked the popularity of European leagues, MLS franchises are on the rise and now sell for more than $40 million – just behind the NBA and NHL. The Seattle Sounders had a fan base of 30,000 per game in 2009 – more than the Seattle Mariners baseball team. In 2011, expansion teams from Vancouver and Portland will be added to the league.

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