Monday, October 21, 2013

Revolution attract largest stand-alone MLS crowd since 2009

By Zachary Baru

Don't tell the Revolution they can't compete with baseball, as Saturday night proved to be a night where soccer fans showed their support on the Revs' home finale, and in impressive numbers.  Just as the Red Sox were looking to reach the World Series at Fenway Park, down I-495 in Foxborough the Revolution came one step closer to reaching the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew before a season-high crowd of 26,458.

This was also the largest stand-alone Major League Soccer crowd for the Revolution since August 8, 2009, in a game against the Los Angeles Galaxy.  Since many MLS franchises schedule doubleheaders with international clubs playing friendlies, MLS attendance records are often recorded separately for stand-alone games.

For the Revolution front office, the season finale could not have been any better.  Edging Columbus in a close, exciting game in front of a season-high crowd and giving the Revs an opportunity to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009 - depending on the results when the season ends this Sunday in Columbus - made for the perfect script to end the home schedule of an entertaining season.

Saturday's game was a reminder of just how supportive Revolution fans can be.  With better on-field performance this season and the emerging young talent from players like Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe, it is easy to understand why fans have returned the favor and come out to show their support.

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bruins' popularity creates new task for franchise

By Zachary Baru

Could it be that times are too good for the Boston Bruins?  You could say that is the case for the Bruins, who are enjoying strong revenue from multiple streams.  But with a surge in popularity beginning in the 2008-09 season and highlighted by the championship season of 2011, the Bruins are close to maxing out some revenue streams including season tickets and sponsorship sales.

Season tickets are once again sold out this season, and have a long waiting list.  With revenue streams maxing out, the Bruins will need to seek new ways to generate revenue.  

It's the problem every sports franchise wants to have, as the Bruins' popularity shows no signs of slowing down.  It's little examples like Comcast SportsNet airing a special thirty-minute Bruins post-game show immediately following Thursday night's opening night game on NESN.  Five years ago, no such thing would ever occur.  

As for attendance, the Bruins have reached 100 percent capacity since the start of the 2010-11 season.  The Bruins were just short of that mark in 2008-09 and 2009-10, reaching 97 percent and 99 percent capacity respectively.

While the Bruins are hot at the gate, the television numbers are just as good.  Bruins television ratings were up 41 percent last season from 2011-12, good for the third-highest television rating in the National Hockey League during 2012-13.

As the Bruins come close to maxing out important revenue streams, it appears that times are in fact too good for the franchise.  That's one problem the Bruins won't mind facing.

Source: ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Revolution draws season-high crowd Saturday

By Zachary Baru

The result may not have been what the New England Revolution were looking for, but fans flocked to Foxborough Saturday night as the Revs tied the Houston Dynamo 1-1 before a season-high crowd of 21,297.

Large crowds are not uncommon for Revs late in the season, as many of their promotions and ticket plans fill seats in these final home games.  This on top of the Revolution's push for the last playoff berth helped bring a large crowd and a playoff-like atmosphere to Gillette Stadium.

As the top rows of the lower bowl are typically tarped off for Revolution home games, on Saturday much of the lower bowl was sold.  It was an opportunity for the Revs to have an "official" sellout, but it is hard to be disappointed with a crowd of 20,000-plus, especially with many Major League Soccer stadiums only holding 18,000-20,000 fans.

The Revs finished the 2012 season with an average of 14,001 fans per home game, which was up 5.9 percent from 2011.

The Revolution have one more home game remaining, October 19 against Columbus.  A decent amount of tickets have been sold, in what should be another large crowd for the Revolution.

Source: Sports Business Journal

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at