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NBA Falls: New No. 3 Most Popular Sport Reigns Supreme

If we told you that the NBA has been dethroned as the third-highest sport in the United States in terms of average attendance, you’d assume that the NHL was fully recovered from its own lockout seven years ago. “Good job, hockey!,” you may or may not say.

But you’d be wrong. NBA has indeed lost its standing as the third-ranked sport in America, but it lost out to…soccer? That’s right, MLS has gotten hot lately and is now number three in terms of average attendance, jumping up to an average of 17,870 in 2011.

The NFL is still the big king in the sports world, with 66,950 fans per game. MLB is still good for second at 30,352. Then we have MLS, which has 3% more fans than the NBA and 4.1% more than the NHL. While this doesn’t factor in television ratings, it does tell you something about Americans getting more interested in soccer.

Might even tell you more about what people think of the NBA these days.


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