Soccer in the United States has long been a second-tier sport since it caught steam in the US in the 1960s and 70s, and again in the 90s. According to WalletHub, there’s now a list of Best Cities for Soccer Fans, where the District of Columbia ranks 7th overall and 6th for large cities/metropolises.
The District’s numbers in the rankings goes:
- 3rd – Performance Level of MLS Team
- 2nd – Performance Level of NWSL Team
- 12th – Min. Season-Ticket Price for MLS Game
- 8th – Min. Season-Ticket Price for NWSL Game
- 8th – MLS Stadium Capacity
- 7th – NWSL Stadium Capacity
- 9th – MLS Fan Engagement
- 5th – NWSL Fan Engagement
To determine these numbers, WalletHub had analysts compare an estimated 300 US cities with at least one college or professional soccer team across six divisions comprising 63 key metrics. Everything from minimum season-ticket price for a game to stadium accessibility to number of championship wins.
Atlanta United recently broke the highest average per-game for a home attendance record for every major sport [except the NFL]. This is an amazing feat considering the team has only been around for five months. Atlanta United is one of two new professional soccer teams established in early 2017.
The average MLS team today worth $223 million. This is exciting news for supporters of US soccer because it’s up from 2016 records totaling an average of $185 million.
WalletHub notes much of the [recent] credit for the sport’s growing domestic acceptance goes to the U.S. Women’s National Team, who made us proud with its record-breaking victory in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. They also give some credit to the COPA América Centenario. It’s known as world’s oldest soccer competition 100 years running, and it was held in 2016 the in US for the first time.
In 2012, the US Census Bureau reported that soccer was the third-most played team sport in the US, behind only basketball and baseball. Just three years later the Bureau reported over 24.4 million Americans play soccer in the US.
In the US Men’s grouping there is:Major League Soccer (MLS), United Soccer League (ULS), North American Soccer League (NASL). In the US Women’s group thing there is: National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The largest men’s game was in 1977 (77,691; New York Cosmos 8-3 Fort Lauderdale Strikers) at Giants Stadium. The largest women’s game was in 2003 (34,148; Washington Freedom 1–0 Bay Area CyberRays) at RFK Stadium.
Most of all US soccer is governed by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), including the national teams, professional leagues, and the amateur game (minus college and high school soccer).
WalletHub is a personal-finance website. You can read the story here, https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-cities-for-soccer-fans/14207/.