This chart presents the attendance figures for Columbus Crew SC home openers since 1999, when MAPFRE Stadium opened. In the 16 year history of the stadium, crowd sizes have ranged between 10 and 25 thousand. The low point was 2011, while the high was unsurprisingly set in the stadium’s first year.
Attendance shows some correlation with game day temperature, as depicted above. This is not surprising, although the math – an R2 value of 0.3264 – indicates that temperature alone does not explain the variation. It appears that attendance varies by about 163 people for every degree of temperature gained or lost.
Other possible factors that could influence attendance include precipitation, opponent, competitive prospects, and the sales efforts by the front office. This last factor is particularly important, as shown by the attendance growth since 2011 after the team restructured their sales team.
The third home game of the Columbus Crew’s 2014 season is coming up this weekend. The team will play DC United – one of the team’s rivals in the early days of MLS, but a rivalry that has significantlyfaded in recent years.
Predicting the attendance for a Columbus Crew game can be a risky proposition. There are a relatively large number of variables that can impact the size of a crowd for any given day. Some of the biggest appear to be:
What will the weather be?
Does the opposition have a marketable player like David Beckham?
Are the team on a hot streak?
Is there a competing sports event, like an OSU football game at the same time?
The Columbus Crew’s 2014 home opener ended hours ago, and much of the post-game discussion has centered around the team’s 2-0 start – their first such mark in their 19-year history. That this has never happened before is surprising given some of the strong teams that Columbus has fielded in the past, but my focus tonight is on something else. Continue reading Notes on attendance after the home opener