2012 in the stands was yet another step in the right direction for FC Dallas. The most notable addition to the stadium this season was the addition of the stands in front of the Budweiser Beer Garden and you'd have to say they were a smashing success. The 250 seats were pretty much full for just about every game and seem to have developed a culture all their own. In fact, they've been so popular that plans are in place to double the seats behind the north goal to 500 in 2013.
Around the rest of the stands, things were certainly improved with what seemed to be better, more knowledgeable crowds and more excitement around the games. Let's look at the numbers:
2012 Attendance Numbers
-FC Dallas finished with an average attendance of 14,199, a 10.4% raise from the 12,861 average of 2011.
-The 10.4% raise isn't quite to the level of the 18.9% raise in attendance of 2011, but the 1,338 raise in average is the second most in any single year of the stadium in Frisco after last season's raise.
-FCD ranked 15th out of 19 MLS teams
-The 14,199 ranks 3rd out of the 7 full seasons at FCD Stadium and is the largest in five years.
I think any season ticket holder noticed yet another positive difference in the crowds this year, headlined by the absolute electric ending to that Vancouver game. Perhaps the best thing is that the base crowd is rising, meaning it's not just 3 or 4 sellouts surrounding a bunch of depressing crowds. There wasn't a number under 10K this year, I'd imagine for the first time in stadium history, and with two Galaxy home games, Houston, July 4 and the Home Opener, there could be five sellouts next year.
The big cloud hanging all of it is what Doug Quinn's likely departure from FC Dallas will mean to everything. Putting all the possible legal proceedings aside, he was very good at his job and deserves a ton of credit for the fan base he - and his staff - has built.
It remains to be seen what will happen, but FCD needs to increase attendance 7.7% next year to break the all-time stadium attendance record. With the favorable schedule mentioned above, it's not out of the realm of possibility.