Though there have been some positive developments of late, Columbus Crew SC is seeking to boost its attendance numbers.
The good news for Crew SC is that last Saturday’s match drew 18,690 fans, the second-highest attendance mark of the 2017 season and represented another recent game in which the club was backed by a strong turnout. On July 1, the Crew’s match against Atlanta attracted 20,391 fans, and at least 16,500 spectators have been reported at each of the club’s last four home games.
However, Columbus is still behind other MLS clubs in terms of attendance, as its current per-game average of 14,791 fans ranks last in the league. Crew SC president of business operations Andy Loughnane notes that it is not uncommon for the club to start trending upward in attendance over the summer, due in part to more desirable weather. He is hopeful that the recent trends will continue, but also stresses that Crew SC will continue to look for ways to improve attendance. More from The Columbus Dispatch:
Loughnane said Crew SC has discussions with the league regarding scheduling, but added the Crew is just one of 22 teams for which there are schedule requests. He also noted that due to events at the Ohio Expo Center, Crew SC is forced to fit 17 games and an international friendly into 29 weeks as opposed to 35 weeks.
“By virtue of our lease, we have to play matches early parts of the year including cold weather months where, as everybody knows, historically we just have not done as well at the gate,” Loughnane said.
Those factors noted, Loughnane said he is not satisfied with Crew SC’s current attendance totals.
“We’ve talked about this. We are last in attendance,” Loughnane said. “We do have the lowest average ticket price in Major League Soccer and the combination of those two things together are areas of improvement that we need to continue to work on.”
To keep track of MLS attendance as the 2017 season continues, be sure to check for updates on our 2017 MLS attendance page.