SPORTS

No playoffs but Toronto FC records club attendance record in 2014

10/28/2014 04:31 EDT | Updated 12/28/2014 05:59 EST
TORONTO - Maybe it wasn't quite a bloody big deal, but Toronto FC did set a club record for attendance this season.

The MLS team drew 375,463 fans to BMO Field, up 30,928 over the previous franchise record of 344,535 set in 2011. This season TFC attracted 15 straight sellouts of 22,591 before attendance at the two final home games dropped to 18,269 and 18,329, respectively.

The club drew 308,233 fans in 2013.

Toronto averaged 22,086 a game this season, second only to the Seattle Sounders (43,734) and well above the league average of 19,147.

In contrast, the Vancouver Whitecaps averaged 20,408 (346,943 in total, fifth in the league) and Montreal 17,421 (296,159, 11th).

Toronto currently has 17,000 season-ticket holders — its highest ever — with a waiting list of 3,000.

Still, the club is not expected to make a profit this season because of the huge contracts awarded to Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley.

Toronto, which had 14,600 season ticket-holders in 2013, did not raise prices for existing season ticket-holders this season while delaying the date they had to commit to the tickets so they could monitor the club's off-field moves. And after another bad year in 2012, it rolled back prices for existing season ticket-holders to 2007 levels.

But with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment sinking $95 million in stadium renovations at BMO Field, it needs a successful product on the field to keep the fans coming and to fill the enlarged stands.

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