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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

March 2, 2013 at 2:41 PM

How much does Seattle love the Sounders?

soundersYou always knew in your heart that the Sounders have the best fans in all of Major League Soccer.   Well here’s the data to prove it.  You can enjoy tonight’s season opener with the knowledge that among the 15 U.S. markets with MLS teams, Seattle/Tacoma has the highest percentage of folks who either attend or watch the games, and the highest percentage who identify as hardcore fans.

In nationwide surveys conducted between August 2011 and September 2012 by market data firm Scarborough Research, 21.5 percent of adults in the Seattle/Tacoma market said they’d watched on TV or attended a game in person in the past year, and 6 percent said they were “very interested” in the MLS.  That ranks us at the top in both categories.  You can see how all the U.S. markets compare in the chart below; roll your mouse over each bar to see the numbers (note: data for Canadian markets is not available).

[do action=”MLS”][/do]

Source: Scarborough Research, Multi-market 2012 Release 2

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On the chart below are the raw numbers behind those percentages.  With 815,000 people who say they’ve watched or attended games in the past year, Seattle/Tacoma ranks third, ahead of some much bigger markets.   For the number of diehard fans, we have 225,000, ranking us fifth and just a hair behind Houston.  The data on the chart is sortable by clicking on the headings.

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MARKET TEAM ATTENDED/WATCHED FANS
Los Angeles Galaxy & Chivas 2,211,122 781,201
New York Red Bulls 1,609,423 669,626
Seattle/Tacoma Sounders 815,003 225,522
Philadelphia Union 707,701 170,271
Chicago Fire 673,890 256,025
Houston Dynamo 647,440 229,934
Washington, D.C. DC United 580,013 127,932
San Jose/San Francisco Earthquakes 466,715 137,580
Boston Revolution 425,575 75,786
Dallas/Fort Worth FC Dallas 346,376 173,780
Salt Lake City Real Salt Lake 346,207 58,786
Portland Timbers 326,421 84,814
Kansas City Sporting 297,556 71,474
Denver Rapids 277,754 89,312
Columbus Crew 170,822 27,812

Source: Scarborough Research, Multi-market 2012 Release 2

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And folks who live in the city love the Sounders the most of all.  12.4 percent of Seattle city residents say they are hardcore fans, and 29.6 percent say they’ve been to a game or watch the Sounders on TV in the past year.

No U.S. soccer team has more support than the Sounders — and that’s not just an opinion.  It’s a fact.

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Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: Sounders, sports

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