5. Sporting Kansas City
Average 2013 attendance:
Baseball teams it outdraws:
Miami Marlins (17,168), Tampa Bay Rays (17,718), Houston Astros (18,271), Cleveland Indians (18,995)
And the Indians and Rays aren't playing shabby baseball this year, either.
As one of MLS' founding clubs and one that put an MLS Cup in its trophy case in 2000, Sporting KC uses a whole lot of history and good will to keep fans coming through the gates of Sporting Park. Those are fans who remember this team as the Wizards or, simply, The Wiz, before MLS decided to get more soccer-specific in 2010.
They remember going to games in cavernous Arrowhead Stadium, rooting on U.S. Men's National Team veterans such as Alexi Lalas and Tony Meola. They also remember, as Sporting reminded them last year when it defeated every U.S. soccer team in its path en route to winning the the U.S. Open Cup, that their soccer team is the closest thing their town has had to an elite professional sports franchise in some time.
Back in 2011, Sporting on average outdrew the hometown Kansas City Royals. Those same Royals haven't made the playoffs since they won the World Series in 1985 and have had exactly five winning seasons since then.
Since moving to their new home at soccer-specific LiveStrong Sporting Park this year, Sporting Kansas City has drawn nearly 19,200 fans to every home game. The same can't be said for the Royals, who struggle to bring roughly 18,600 fans out to games. The NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, meanwhile, have had four winning seasons in the past decade, haven't made it out of the first round of the playoffs since 1993 and haven't won a Super Bowl since 1969.