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Despite poor results, Dynamo attendance grows

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2015 was a frustrating year to be a fan of the Houston Dynamo, but despite all the disappointing results, attendance at BBVA Stadium actually grew over last year.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dynamo averaged 20,658 fans per home game over the course of the 2015 campaign. That number was a 2.7% increase over their numbers from another disappointing year in 2014, and the second highest average in franchise history. The Dynamo’s highest average attendance mark was set in 2012, the year that BBVA Compass Stadium was opened, with a home crowd average of 21,015.

It wasn’t just the Dynamo that had a bump in attendance in 2015. Tickets sales across the league were up 12.7% over 2014, and a new record-high in total attendance, with 7,335,053. The league average was set at 21,574, not much higher than the Dynamo’s average, however, that league average is heavily skewed by the Seattle Sounders (44,247), who play in an NFL stadium, and the expansion teams Orlando City (32,847) and NYCFC (29,016), who are still in that honeymoon phase for a new expansion team.

MLS also set a new record for sellouts (161), up from last year’s high of 133, and while the Dynamo’s average home crowd was 8th in the league, it was actually close to a sellout every game. The maximum capacity of BBVA Stadium is 22,039, so Houston’s average crowd was 93.7% of capacity.

In comparison to other teams in Houston, the Dynamo rank 3rd in home attendance, ahead of the Houston Rockets (18,229), but bested by the Houston Texans (71,766), and the Astros (26,578).

It’s always very encouraging to see attendance gains for the Dynamo, and it’s come a long way since the days of watching games at half-empty Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo have done a great getting a soccer-specific stadium for the fans and creating a fun street party atmosphere surrounding the stadium on match days. But if the results on the pitch continue to look the same as the last two years, management shouldn’t expect this trend of increased attendance to continue for much longer.