Sunday, September 7, 2014


The announced attendance figure at Crew Stadium this afternoon for their 3-0 win over Chivas USA was 17,043, which works out to be about 85% of the 20k capacity. There wasn't anywhere near that amount at 1 Black and Gold Blvd today.

Recording a Tickets Sold figure that doesn't match with what's actually in stadium isn't unique to the Columbus Crew or even MLS, in particular. A couple years ago the Boston Red Sox were announcing a record string of sellouts that turned out to be completely bogus (and embarrassing).

While "announced attendance" is reportedly tickets sold, it clearly isn't the turnstile number. The latter is very important, as a sizable percentage of team revenue comes from parking, merchandise, concessions, etc. Over the years the Crew haven't been the best at getting ticket buyers to the stadium. Inexpensive package deals and group sales may be the primary culprits, but he primary driver is likely only known to the head of sales.

Sometimes low, but most of the time it's way over what is actually at the stadium. The difference between "announced" and turnstile only becomes an issue when they are clearly not anywhere close to matching up. It needs to be tightened up.

I've been to sellout Crew games as well as games where only a few thousand show. Games at 85% capacity are assigned seating type events - not "Larry can pick his spot in the upper deck" games.

Most Crew games fall in the estimated 12-15k variety.

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