Following our analysis of college football attendance, we were asked by a few people to do the same type of analysis on Major League Soccer (MLS). We were pointed to a very well-done data repository for MLS attendance, located at the site Overlapping Run and compiled by @SoccerTwit.
We compiled the data using @SoccerTwit’s attendance data and the published stadium capacity for the various places the teams play. We did take one liberty with the data, however. Many of the teams have professional soccer stadiums but they haven’t always had them. For example, the Chicago Fire played several early years at Soldier Field, which holds about 81,000 people. We don’t think there was ever the expectation that MLS would fill that stadium, but the soccer stadium since built seats about 20,000, which is clearly what is viewed as the right stadium capacity for the team. As a result, we projected the “best capacity” into the past so we could get realistic relationships between attendance and expected capacity.
Here is the visualization: