SEATTLE - OCTOBER 15: A general view during the match between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on October 15th, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders defeated the Earthquakes 2-1. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since October 25, 2011
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Fans of Major League Soccer are getting a fair bit of run out of the fact that their league is now averaging more fans than the NBA or NHL. But, as Burgundy Wave points out, the comparison is not exactly a fair one. The big difference noted is that MLS stadiums aren't actually as full as their competitors in the indoor leagues:
The NBA was able to fill 90% of the seats in the league during the season with their lowest member being the Indiana Pacers at a mediocre 74%. The NHL actually outpaced the NBA - bet you didn't know that! - with 92% of the seats in the league filled at all times thanks mostly to a higher rate of teams selling out every game near the top of the attendance table; their lowest was significantly lower than the NBA's with the Islanders managing a paltry 67%.
That might not be an entirely fair way of putting either, though, and it's noted that NHL and NBA teams universally play in facilities that were designed for their sport, while many MLS teams are still playing in transformed American football stadiums.