FC Cincinnati continues to impress on the field, and Saturday’s 2-1 win over Pittsburgh clinched an Eastern Conference playoff birth. A crowd of 25,735 fans watched as the Orange and Blue managed a come-from-behind victory late in the match. Fans were also treated to a timely first, as striker Fanendo Adi bagged his first for the club, clinching the victory.
Strength in Numbers
It’s become common knowledge around the league that Nippert Stadium is a formidable fortress to opposing teams. The twelfth-man prowess consists of smoke, supporter groups, songs, and yes, fans, thousands and thousands of them. The August 18th match against the Charleston Battery saw 27,142 fans fill the stands, and push the season total attendance to 352,709. That number eclipsed the 2017 regular season total of 339,181 with three home games yet to be tallied.
Interestingly, the lowest and highest attended matches this season were back-to-back and mere days apart. The June 13th midweek match against Bethlehem Steel saw the lowest number of the season, 22,407. As if to respond to that number, the club reached its 2018 season apex three days later. The June 16th match against Richmond Kickers saw 28,026 fans attend, the second most for a regular season match in club history.
How Far Can It Go?
It’s not uncommon to hear fans, including myself, making attendance predictions with friends and family as the game inches closer to the official announcement. Let’s predict where that number will land once the last regular season home match is played, on September 29th.
Saturday’s 15th home match against Pittsburgh pushed the season total to 378,444, which equates to an average of 25,230 fans per match. Assuming that same average number shows up for the next match against Toronto FC II, the total will rise to 403,674 after 16 matches. Last year’s regular season total of 339,181 was for a 16 game season. So 2018 should bring in 64,493 more fans over 16 games, an increase of 19%.
Assuming the average of 25,230 shows up again for the last game against Indy Eleven, then the regular season total would hit 428,904 by the end of the season. That’s 89,723 more fans this season (noting that there’s an extra game) and 4,031 more fans per game.
Now, let’s include all competitions on home soil this year and see what total we may see. Adding both the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open cup matches and the RCD Espanyol friendly, the total would reach 462,774. Considering FC Cincinnati has a very real possibility of hosting one or more playoff games, that number will rise even further. FCC could reach and surpass the remarkable half million mark for all competitions. How high will the number go? We soon shall see.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for continued coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season.