Saturday, June 18, 2011

Group phase attendance of Gold Cup

Soccer has intrigued me since the 1994 World Cup in the states. This was a new sport on the horizon. I envisioned packed stadiums and crazy fans like the ones who jammed into every bar in Brighton during the World Cup 1994. I have watched the slow growth of MLS from 1996 to 2011. There was the low of 10 teams to it present 19 franchises. The newer stadiums really added to the experience of going to a game. The region of CONCACAF has the Gold Cup bi-annually and I like to look at this event to see how the growth of this event is progressing. It is not exploding nor is it remaining level. It is growing at a nice pace. This is not just a game it is now an event. (I am basing my assessment on attendance and TV ratings.)

Year         Avg        Total

2005       26,164      340,131

2007        37,597     488,772

2009       36,053     468,688

2011       40,222

Well here are the numbers. Total attendance for 2005 was 340,131. This was the last year guest teams were invited. The 2007 tournament was filled with excitement. This was the first time 12 CONCACAF teams participated. Total attendance for 2007 was 488,772. 2009 did not drop off totaling 468,888(no Confederations Cup to play for) when teams did not send all top starts. This Gold Cup I am just going to compare groups since the total attendance is not finished. (wikipedia is incorrect in it attendance. Attendance figures can be obtained from CONCACAF we site. I only count 1 attendance figure for double headers since it is the same person in the seat for each game. I will not count the same person twice)

I see the 3 groups this way. There is the Mexican group, USA’s group and the other group. Mexcio’s group has outpaced the other 2 groups by far. This Gold Cup is no different. USA’s group had a total of 75,000 (rounding) total attendance. This figure is only up from 66,000 in the 2009 group phase. I think this is a very good attendance figure since the yanks did not have another good drawing team. The yanks were saddled with Canada, Panama and Guadeloupe. The other group total attendance this year is 65,000. This is a big jump from 51,000 in 2009. This group had Honduras and Guatemala anchoring the group with attendance. Honduras fans far outnumbered Jamaican fans in NY. There were many Honduras fans with their Honduras national team jersey and national flag hanging everywhere. The Guatemala fans were much vocal than the Honduras fans at the Home Depot Center.

This big mover is Mexico’s attendance. Mexico’s group in 2009 was the highest reaching 104,000. This year they soared to 222,000.this year topped out at 222,000. This group is carrying the Gold Cup in attendance. 88k turned out in Dallas. Then 65k attended the games in North Carolina. Chicago was another huge success with 77k in the windy city. El Salvador is one of the top 5 fan based nations in the states. They also contributed to the record breaking group attendance figures.

222,000 is huge since the Total attendance for the 2005 Gold Cup was only 340,000. The Mexico again has been the catalyst for fan support in these tournaments and will continue to be so. This Gold Cup is on course to break the attendance records of Gold Cup played entirely in the states. This is nice growth. Like I stated before the tournament, this should be a record breaking attendance tournament if Mexico makes it to the final. (I am excluding the 1993 & 2003 figures since the final was in Mexico).

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