Unlike most major international soccer leagues, the MLS crowns its champion based on the results of a post-season. The MLS Cup Playoffs include 12 of the league’s 22 teams, six each from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The top two teams from each conference receive a bye into the Conference Semifinals, with the third-seeded team taking on the sixth-seeded team and the fourth-seeded team going up against the fifth-seeded team in one match played at the higher-seeded team’s home stadium. The lower-seeded team to advance goes on to face the top-seeded team in its conference, with the higher-seeded team to advance takes on the second-seeded team in its conference. The Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals are played in the traditional two-legged home-and-away format, while the MLS Cup final itself is a one-match affair taking place at the home stadium of the team with the higher point total from the regular season.
MLS Cup Playoffs History
The MLS Cup Playoffs were first held in 1996, with D.C. United defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup final by a score of 3-2 after coming back from a two-goal deficit and scoring the winner in the golden goal overtime period. D.C. United went on to win two of the next three MLS Cup finals, losing to the Chicago Fire in the final match in 1998, marking the start of the MLS with a dominant run. Following D.C. United’s three-title run, the league continued expanding, and while the MLS Cup Playoffs consisted of eight teams until 2010, the league made the move to a ten-team playoff in 2011, which grew once again to twelve teams in 2015.
While D.C. United was undoubtedly the top team in the league in its early stages, and won a subsequent MLS Cup final in 2004, the Los Angeles Galaxy has reigned victorious more than any other MLS team with five titles to its name.
How much do MLS Playoffs tickets cost?
The price of MLS Playoff tickets can vary greatly, both by location and by round. Last season, MLS Playoffs tickets resold for as low as under $50 on average for early rounds of the playoffs, and about $300 on average for the MLS Cup Final.
How to buy MLS Playoffs tickets
SeatGeek is the best way to browse, find, and buy MLS Playoffs tickets.
- Browse the listings of MLS Playoffs games to find one you would like to attend. Once you find the perfect date and game, click on the green button on the right hand side of the screen to see all available tickets for that game.
- Next, explore all available tickets on the left hand side of the screen. Filters at the bottom of the page allow tickets to be sorted by price, or by SeatGeek’s Deal Score feature, which ranks tickets by value and tells you exactly how good of a deal you're looking at. On the right hand side, you can explore SeatGeek’s interactive stadium and arena maps to find the perfect seating section, and to get a preview of what a view from a seat in that section will look like.
- To purchase a ticket, click the ticket listing and you will be directed to SeatGeek’s checkout process to complete the information fields.
- SeatGeek will process your order and deliver your MLS Playoffs tickets.
When do MLS Playoffs tickets go on sale?
MLS Playoffs tickets typically go on sale in October.
Where does the MLS Playoffs take place?
The MLS playoffs take place at various stadiums around North America depending on who makes the playoffs and seeding.
When do the MLS Playoffs take place?
This year, the MLS Playoffs begin on October 31, 2018.