NFL Viewership Has Been Down in Recent Years. Is Soccer the New Sport Rising and Stealing Fans?
The soccer world in America is changing. Atlanta United’s record crowd makes an impact on the sport.
In comparison, that same weekend the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams each hosted NFL games and the attendance for those two games combined was a mere 81,993.
Atlanta United is playing their first official MLS season and is expecting attendance rates to remain just as high as their home opener.
ESPN Analyst Taylor Twellman might have been skeptical when Atlanta United was first announced, but now says, “I couldn’t have been more wrong,” adding, “Atlanta United have single-handedly given everyone a look at what MLS should look like.”
“We never expected this to happen,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “But we’re continuing to have experiences like this that are defying everybody’s expectations, and it defied mine. So, when I come in here and I’m on the field, looking at the supporters’ section and the spike ceremony and the supporters, I want to remind myself to suck it in, take a deep breath, and remember that this is the beginning of even greater things to happen in our league.”
Fans are hopping on board and many have already bought season tickets.
Maybe Garber and the MLS should capitalize on the slowing interest in the NFL and consider expanding the league and open in markets that have struggling NFL attendance.
Atlanta is also focused on player development — three Atlanta United academy players have been called into the U.S. roster to represent the USA at the U-17 World Cup in India this Fall. Goalkeeper Justin Garces, midfielder Chris Goslin and forward Andrew Carleton have been named in coach John Hackworth’s 21-player U-17 roster. The future looks bright for soccer now and in the future for
America may be catching on to what the world has known for a long time and, soccer may be the next superstar sport in America.