clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Are MLS fans paying too much, or not enough?

New, 3 comments

Using an unscientific way to analyze if MLS fans are getting the proper value for their dollar.

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

One of the best parts of being a fan of Major League Soccer, is there is not definitive path to success. In the NFL teams are required to have an elite quarterback and in the NBA you need several All-Star's just to compete at the highest level. In MLS, some teams try spend to win, the LA Galaxy being the most successful in that group, while other clubs build strong and balanced teams, such as Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City. MLS teams have the ability to take a variety of routes to get to the ultimate goal of winning MLS Cup. While Technical Directors, scouts, and coaches try and battle to win trophies, the rest of the front office battles to get people into the stadium. Again, just like constructing a team, there is no proven path that every team must take to accomplish that goal. Those in ticket sales try and convince prospective soccer goers that they will have fun, and get their money's worth when attending an MLS game.

I decided to see which fans are getting their money's worth, and which are getting the short end of the stick. There are many different ways to approach the subject of value but I wanted to compare value as it relates to the rest of MLS. My approach began by ranking every team 1-19 using the average single game ticket price for each team (1 being the highest). Then ranking teams 1-19 using guaranteed compensation from the recently released 2014 MLS Players Union salary document. I then took every team and subtracted their salary position from their single game ticket price. This gives us each team's value score. Team's that have a value score in the positives are spending more while charging less than others comparatively around the league. Teams scoring in the negatives are either spending too little on their players or need to lower their ticket prices compared to the rest of MLS.

Team Name

Value Score

Seattle Sounders

+11

FC Dallas

+8

New York Red Bulls

+6

LA Galaxy

+5

Philadelphia Union

+4

Columbus Crew

+3

Montreal Impact

+2

Houston Dynamo

+1

New England Revolution

+1

San Jose Earthquakes

+1

Toronto FC

+1

Vancouver Whitecaps

0

Chicago Fire

-1

Colorado Rapids

-6

Real Salt Lake

-6

Chivas USA

-7

Portland Timbers

-8

Sporting Kansas City

-8

DC United

-9

The big winners are the Seattle Sounders fans (I almost couldn't type that) for getting a +11 value score, while DC United take the crown as the biggest rip off in MLS, with a -9 value score. This is not the most scientific way to compare the value received by each fan base, but it does give us a little insight to the subject. Want to talk about it some more? Leave a comment below or tweet me @Nathan_Smith22.