College - Author 1

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Department - Author 1

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration



Primary Advisor

Brian P. Greenwood


Spectator attendance is a significant indicator of the success of a professional sports league. There are many different factors that can potentially impact spectator attendance rates, including competitive balance, star players, and the stadiums being used. The impacts of these factors on spectator attendance rates differ in various professional sports leagues. Major League Soccer (MLS) started in 1996, and has emphasized creating higher spectator attendance rates. Information on spectator attendance was gathered using a best practices comparison guide. Findings of this study showed that star players positively impact attendance in the MLS and strategies put in place for creating high competitive balance in the MLS are working. This study recommends that the MLS continue to use the strategies regarding competitive balance, and that they allow for the addition of one more start player per team. The purpose of this study was to examine spectator attendance strategies for major professional sports leagues in an effort to assess and improve the strategies employed and adopted by the MLS.