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USL Championship surpasses two million fan mark for 2023 campaign

By Staff, 09/28/23, 10:00AM EDT


League honors Detroit City FC fan John Sarge as symbolic ‘Two Millionth Fan’, League One continues steady attendance growth

TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Championship celebrated a significant milestone on Wednesday night as Detroit City FC fan John Sarge was honored as the league’s symbolic “Two Millionth Fan of 2023” in a ceremony at Keyworth Stadium.

The USL Championship, its clubs, and its fans surpassed 2 million fans this season in the past week, doing so at the earliest point of a campaign this decade. The league is also on course to set a record for average attendance in a single season with three weekends remaining in the regular season.

The USL Championship’s average attendance this season currently sits at 5,552 which represents a 42 percent increase from 2021. Additionally, total attendance is up 34.2 percent compared to this point in the 2021 season, while the league is on course to reach 2.2 million cumulative fans, the most it has welcomed this decade.

“We're extremely proud to have hosted over two million fans at USL Championship matches so far this season,” said USL Championship President Jeremy Alumbaugh. “Credit goes to the fans, of course, and to our clubs for developing relationships within their communities and creating authentic soccer experiences at their venues. With the race to the playoffs heating up, we look forward to welcoming more fans and supporters to experience the exciting games remaining in the regular season.”

Detroit City FC fan John Sarge was honored before Wednesday night's game against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC as the league’s symbolic “Two Millionth Fan of 2023”. | Photo courtesy Jon DeBoer / Detroit City FC

Sarge was selected to be honored by Le Rouge, with him and his wife Diane longtime Detroit City supporters dating to the founding of the club. Their passion for the club and city of Detroit is complemented by their warmth toward everyone who attends games at Keyworth Stadium and while following the team on the road.

The growth of attendance in the USL Championship has been mirrored this season in USL League One, which is projected to set a new league record in welcoming more than 400,000 fans when the regular season concludes on Oct. 14.

In League One this season, average attendance currently sits at 2,313 which represents a 33 percent increase from 2021, while the league’s total attendance is up 70.4 percent compared to this point in the 2021 season. 

“We are delighted to have set a new single-season attendance record in USL League One,” said USL League One President Lee O’Neill. “The more than 400,000 fans that will take in a League One match by the end of the season is a testament to dedicated front offices, blossoming fan bases and a commitment to the highest level of competition on the pitch. With playoff berths, seeding and the Players’ Shield still on the line over the final three weeks of the regular season, we look forward to welcoming even more fans into our stadiums as the season winds down.”

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