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3Jul/13Off

Sporting KC and KC Royals Attendance Comparison

By: Ed Blythe Twitter: ed_blythe

Five separate times in 2012, the Kansas City Royals and Sporting Kansas City hosted home games on the same day as each other, a few of which had overlapping game times.  In each of those instances, the Royals drew more fans through the gates than Sporting.  Some games were close in attendance, such as on April 14 where Sporting drew 19,422, compared to the Royals who drew 21,788. Other games were more like May 5, where Sporting pulled in 20,404 and the Royals saw 29,121.  In all during 2012 the Royals drew 31,157 more fans than Sporting did in the five games.

Fast-forward to 2013, when the initial schedule came out that five home games for each of the two teams would be played on the same day, all with overlapping game times. For Sporting, there has since been an additional Open Cup game on May 28th and a CONCACAF Champions League match on September 17th tacked onto their schedule.  Three of the overlapping games have already taken place. On May 5th, Sporting hosted Chivas USA to the tune of 18,811 fans while the Royals hosted the Chicago White Sox with 16,462 fans. This is the first time that Sporting has drawn more fans than the Royals, but will it be the last?  The second game was on May 26th when Sporting hosted the Houston Dynamo with 20,876 fans and the Royals hosted Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with 24,475 fans.  The third game so far was May 28th when Sporting hosted the Des Moines Menace in front of 15,621 fans while the Royals host the St. Louis Cardinals in front of 27,833 fans.

Upcoming games include today July 3, when Sporting hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Royals host the Cleveland Indians. On August 10, Sporting will host the New England Revolution and the Royals host the Boston Red Sox. On September 7, Sporting hosts the Columbus Crew and the Royals host the Detroit Tigers. On September 17, Sporting hosts the Real Estelí FC, from Nicaragua, while the Royals host the Cleveland Indians.

Will it be that Sporting can out draw the Royals this year or in the future?  I don’t know if it will get to that point this year, if ever it is not very likely.  If the Royals ever return to their winning ways then they will have a following that fills the stadium that is bigger than Sporting at the present time.  As far as 2013 Sporting has to make up 13,462 fans which I also don’t see happening.  If you take out the May 28 games then it is much closer, Sporting is just behind 1,250 fans which is nothing that can’t be made up.  This will also depend on if the Royals are able to stay in contention throughout the year.  If they are then they will begin to pull more and more fans into the stadium and drive up their attendance.

The whole reason of this post is nothing more than just pointing out that the attendance is good for Sporting but even as bad as the Royals have been playing they are still pulling more fans.  If the Royals contend will they begin to pull fans from Sporting?  As we have seen peoples entertainment dollar is only so large so some fans will have to choose.  Will Sporting be able to still sell out games if some fans choose to go to the Royals instead of Sporting?

It will be interesting to see if this city has two teams that are contending for playoffs if the city can support both in the way of attendance.  When the Chiefs start up that is another team that will pull people away.  People say that Kansas City is a great sports city it looks like we will just see how good it is.

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