TAMPA, Fla. – The USL’s record-setting season in the stands continued Saturday night as the league passed the 1.5 million total attendance-mark as Week 18 of the 2018 regular season concluded. The league reached the mark five weeks sooner than it did in the 2017 season and averaged almost 100,000 fans per week over the past five weeks to go from the one million attendance mark in Week 13 to this point.
The past five weeks have seen the USL record its three highest-attended weeks in the league’s modern era, with almost 140,000 fans taking in Week 14 of the regular season to set a new single-week record in addition to two other weeks that saw more than 110,000 fans fill USL venues across North America. The league remains on course to approach the three million total attendance mark when the 2018 season concludes.
“After the remarkable weekly attendance that has been on display over the past month it comes as no surprise that the league has hit this major milestone faster than ever before in its history,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “It is incredible to think that just over halfway into this regular season we have already surpassed the league’s total attendance from 2016. That’s testament to the outstanding commitment by fans to their clubs – both long-standing league members and more recent arrivals – and the work that has been done to bring great gameday environments and entertainment on the field by the league and its clubs.”
FC Cincinnati led the way on Saturday night as 25,416 fans were on hand at Nippert Stadium to see the Eastern Conference-leaders defeat the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-0, while others like OKC Energy FC this past Wednesday night and Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday afternoon also saw good turnout for a pair of big home wins in their respective pushes for the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs.
The league’s average attendance for the season continues to sit at almost 5,000 fans per game, a rise of 14 percent on the 2017 season, while the league’s independent clubs continue to average almost 6,000 fans per game over the regular season.