Effects of international success on the popularity of professional soccer in the United States
Hertzberg, Carl William
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Major League Soccer (MLS) plays its regular season during the warmer months from April to October. Their regular season covers the months when the World Cup is played. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of World Cup appearances on the popularity of the MLS in the U.S., with a specific focus on college student participation with the MLS. A twenty-six question online survey was given to college students from eight universities, all over the U.S. Additionally, attendance records for the 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010 MLS regular seasons were analyzed for possible variations during non-World Cup years and World Cup years. The results showed inconsistencies between the survey data and the MLS regular season attendance data. Analysis of survey results showed an increase in attendance and television viewing of MLS games during or right after World Cups, where as the attendance data showed no such increases.