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MLS sees record-breaking year

Major League Soccer’s ticket revenue per game rose by 10 per cent over the last year to its highest level in the league’s 23-season history.

Total attendance across MLS increased from 8.72 million in 2017 to 9.05 million this year, with TV viewership for the MLS Cup, the league’s championship game, up 71 per cent from the year before to its highest rate since 1997.

The game drew a record crowd of 73,019 and record TV viewership of 1.56 million viewers on Fox, peaking at 2.06 million viewers.

“Soccer is on the rise in our country,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber, according to Yahoo Finance. “Major League Soccer is driving a lot of that energy.”

Secondary ticketing marketplace Tickpick says it saw a 42 per cent rise in MLS ticket sales on its site.

Tickpick chief executive Brett Goldberg added: “This year in particular, we have really seen a significant jump in demand for MLS games.”

In its second season, Atlanta United sold more than one million tickets in 2018, and set a single-season MLS attendance record of 48,200 attendees per game on average last year. This year, the team’s average attendance rose to 55,000 fans per game and had eight games that reached upwards of 70,000 supporters.

Atlanta United had the highest average attendance of any US pro sports club, apart from NFL teams. It is one of the top-15 most-attended pro sports teams in the world, beating the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Image: Karl L Moore/ Atlanta United