When was the last time that you went to a pro soccer game?

That’s the question that I posed to a few friends recently … prompted by the World’s Cup excitement and bruhaha over player pay.

I set the over-under at 1 … and, if you had bet the under, you would have won.


Assuming that I drew a bad, non-projectible sample, I checked out attendance numbers for the U.S. pro soccer leagues.

Some surprised me…


Let’s start with the MLS – men’s Major League Soccer.

Place your bets: How many men’s pro soccer teams? Average attendance per game?

According to Wiki (the Homa Family bible for settling sports bets) …

In 2018, there were 23 professional men’s soccer teams  that played 391 games.

The average game attendance was 22,863 … total season attendance was just over 8.5 million.

Note: The Minimum MSL salary is about $70,000 … “senior roster players” earn an average of $200,000. Source


OK, so what about women’s professional soccer?

There is one women’s professional soccer league — the National Women’s Soccer League.

The NWSL has 9 teams.

Quick test: How many NWSL teams (or cities) can you name?

The NWSL played 108 games in 2018 … averaging 6,024 fans per game … for a total season attendance of 650,562

Note: The highest paid professional soccer players earn $45,200 per season Source

Let’s put those numbers in context …


The WNBA has 12 teams … that played 204 games in 2018.

Average WNBA attendance is 7,716 per game … for a total season attendance of 1,574,078

Note: The average WNBA salary is about $75,000. The maximum veteran salary is $113,500.

The minimum  of a professional NBA player is $838,464.


There are 30 Triple-A Minor League Baseball teams … that played 2,023 games

Average AAA attendance is 6,615 per game … roughly the same as the NWSL.

Total AAA attendance is over 13 million annually.

Note: According to MLB, the average salary for minor league players in Class AAA is $60,000 (for a 6-month season) Source


These are the nums … draw your own conclusions.


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One Response to “When was the last time that you went to a pro soccer game?”

  1. Dixie Catlett Says:

    You’re looking at the wrong economic indicators, Professor. Actual in-stadium attendance and season ticket subscriptions are not where the money is in pro soccer, nor in pro football or basketball. (Can’t say about MLB baseball from personal knowledge.) The real money is in licensing for all of these sports – television broadcast rights (and the ad dollars that go with them), licensed merchandise, etc. Licensed merch is why even poor NBA teams make a lot of money, IF they have cool mascots/team colors.

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