20,000+ are showing up regularly in Cincinnati.

That said, I find any kind of big price tag for USL a stretch. MLS is growing very quickly and proving "Soccer? USA?" takes fairly old. This is the sport young people go to watch. But USL is a second division league that's been through 3-4 different structural shifts in the last decade and badly needs stability. There are teams drawing very well in it (see: Cincy, Phoenix, Tampa) and also some very empty stadia. Most of the teams that draw well have been bidding for MLS franchises, so I'd take the bigger numbers with a grain of salt.

The Columbus situation is fairly bizarre but the city is apparently no longer paying for the stadium (they are donating some land). The previous owner wanted public money to keep the team in Columbus (and is now doing the same dance in Austin) but the local fans fought the league tooth and nail to save the team, which is one of the original MLS clubs.