It was a good weekend for U.S. soccer attendance, as big-name friendlies attracted hundreds of thousands of fans to football stadiums, while MLS had one of the largest days of attendance since the season opener.
It wasn’t a record, but a crowd of 105,826 was on hand Saturday to see Chelsea take on Real Madrid in an international friendly. The previous record for single-game U.S. soccer attendance stands at 109,318, and was achieved at Michigan Stadium for the 2014 match between Real Madrid and Manchester. It was a big weekend for friendlies: in addition to the Ann Arbor match, a crowd of 53,629 saw Inter Milan take on Bayern Munich in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium, and a crowd of 30,758 was on hand to see AC Milan take on Liverpool at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium on Saturday.
Sunday’s total attendance of 200,212 for MLS matches was the fourth-best day of attendance this season, trailing only June 25 (212,996, a tally inflated by a crowd of 50,816 at Stanford Stadium for a home San Jose Earthquakes match). April 16 (211, 440, when 10 teams — including attendance leaders Seattle and Orlando — hosted matches), and Opening Day (204,445). You can view the season MLS attendance numbers here.
In the NASL, you can view the season NASL attendance numbers here.
Other notable crowds boosting U.S. soccer attendance this weekend:
- The NWSL featured some very healthy crowds this weekend, including 19,231 fans on hand Saturday night at Providence Park to see the Portland Thorns host Seattle Reign FC (shown above) and a sold-out crowd of 4,379 Sunday night at Jordan Field in Allston, Mass. to see the Boston Breakers defeat the Orlando Pride.
- Chattanooga FC of the NPSL continues to impress at the box office, drawing 12,251 to Finley Stadium for a playoff match against Sonoma County. Alas, Chattanooga FC’s season ended with a loss.
- And, finally, USL juggernaut FC Cincinnati continued its impressed box-office success, drawing 19,229 to a match against Charleston Battery at Nippert Stadium.
Image courtesy Portland Thorns FC.