The four Premier Development League (PDL) clubs in the state of Washington had seasons on the pitch that they would likely not mind forgetting. In the seven-team Northwest Division the Sounders U-23, Kitsap Pumas, Washington Crossfire and North Sound SeaWolves finished 4-5-6-7 and out of the playoffs. But how did they do in the stands?
The numbers are only part of the story. In the PDL some clubs don’t really care what they draw (Crossfire) and others market themselves as professional (Kitsap). So the numbers are what they are, bad for those without a front office and better for those who have drawing fans as a priority. Further, these totals are not an exact science, with some matches not reported and others perhaps ‘padded,’ a common custom in the sports world. Here are the 2013 reported home averages, as posted by Kenn.com:
Team – 2013 average (2012 average) + gain (% gain)
Kitsap Pumas – 612 (438) +172 (+28%)
Sounders U-23: 538 (421) +117 (+22%)
North Sound SeaWolves: 234 (135) +99 (+42%)
Washington Crossfire: 128 (102) +26 (+20%)
The national average per match is reported as 588. The Kitsap Pumas are the only local club to meet or exceed that average.
Note: The Portland Timbers U-23 played two home matches in Washington, at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas. The first match drew 2,028 and the second match drew 497.
All four clubs reported significant gains, with the North Sound SeaWolves up 42%. The numbers can be traced to a closer partnership with the City of Edmonds and connections with local celebrations and events. The Kitsap Pumas were up 28%, and this can in part be attributed to better weather and the move to Gordon Field. The Sounders U-23′s were up 22%, with the annual match against the Timbers U-23′s in Tumwater again boosting the their numbers. Washington Crossfire was up %20 after reporting an average of 128 fans per match.