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Sporting Park Listed as Best MLS Stadium Experience of 2014

Peter Galindo@@GalindoPWFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2015

Oct 26, 2014; Kansas City, KS, USA; A general view of the field before players start warmups of the match between Sporting KC and the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Park, home of Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer, was listed as the best stadium experience in MLS in 2014, according to a study by Paul Swaney of Stadium Journey.

The study graded the top 100 North American stadiums. The criteria included concessions, overall atmosphere, the neighborhood and accessibility. Sporting Park was No. 17 overall on the list. Over 2000 venues were critiqued in the report.

Providence Park is the home of the Portland Timbers, and it also hosted the 2014 MLS All-Star Game.
Providence Park is the home of the Portland Timbers, and it also hosted the 2014 MLS All-Star Game.Ted S. Warren/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated Press

SKC averaged just over 20,000 fans per game during the 2014 season, up two percent from a year ago, via Paul Kennedy of Soccer America Daily.

The Portland Timbers' Providence Park was the next stadium at No. 18 overall and second among MLS venues. It was also the host of the 2014 MLS All-Star Game. 

CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Sounders.
CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Sounders.Ted S. Warren/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated Press

Seattle Sounders' CenturyLink Field is ranked third in MLS and No. 34 on the top 100 list. The Sounders have the highest average attendance in the league at just under 43,000.

BC Place, the Vancouver Whitecaps' home venue, was the fourth and final MLS stadium in the study. It was 90th overall. 

The Vancouver Southsiders, a Whitecaps supporters group, cheer during a game at BC Place.
The Vancouver Southsiders, a Whitecaps supporters group, cheer during a game at BC Place.Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images
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MLS may not have the highest quality of soccer in the world, but the league set a record for average attendance this year, via World Soccer Talk. The figure has increased by a little over 2.5 percent from 2013. 

Those numbers should increase next season as well. Chivas USA had slightly more than 7,100 fans per game in 2014, which significantly reduced the figure. The club ceased operations, but the two newest expansion teams in New York and Orlando should help boost attendance in 2015.

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