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List of sports attendance figures

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Sports attendances)

This article lists the attendances at many sports competitions around the world. The statistics are incomplete but they are sufficient to support the following observations:

  • Paid attendance at live sporting events only approaches one event per person per year in a few countries.
  • Generally it is highest in the English speaking and developed countries (ie. the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia.)
  • Most other developed countries occupy the middle ground in attendances per head.
  • Attendances are generally lowest in developing countries. Reasons for this may include a lack of disposable income to spend on tickets, unattractive venues, the relative recent introduction of many sports to these countries, and the emigration of many top local competitors.

Domestic professional leagues

The table below lists domestic professional sports leagues from around the world by total attendances for the last completed season. It is unlikely that any leagues with total attendances over 10 million are missing, but below that level the table is very incomplete at present.

A full house for an Australian rules football match, a regular occurrence at Subiaco Oval in Perth. The AFL attracts the largest attendances of any domestic sporting leagues in Australia
A full house for an Australian rules football match, a regular occurrence at Subiaco Oval in Perth. The AFL attracts the largest attendances of any domestic sporting leagues in Australia

Points to consider:

  • The correlation between revenue and attendance is quite weak. For example, the NFL is on a par with Major League Baseball financially despite having less than one quarter of the total attendance because it charges much higher ticket prices, has a larger television contract, and only plays 16 games per year per team, compared to the MLB's 162.
  • In some cases the figures listed are for main season games only.
  • In some sports (mainly North American centred sports) the main league competition provides each club or franchise with virtually the whole of its attendance and revenue. In others, there are multiple competitions, for example leading English football clubs compete in four competitions each season, but only the league competition is listed below.
  • In some sports, for example rugby union, international competitions and transnational club competitions provide a significant part of total attendances and revenue.
  • Free or heavily discounted seats may be counted by some leagues. No-shows for paid seats may be included in some cases, but not in others.
  • Not all leagues publish official attendance figures. Various media outlets produce their own figures and sometimes these do not agree, but the differences in the averages given are usually no more than one or two per cent.
  • The "leagues" below include pure league competitions, where the team that finishes at the top of the table is declared the winner, such as the FA Premier League, and hybrid league/knock-out competitions, where the best league performers enter a knock-out phase to decide the winner, such as the Australian Football League.


Major League Baseball is the most attended league in the world
Major League Baseball is the most attended league in the world

Note 1: The total attendance for the four fully professional football divisions in England (FA Premier League, Football League Championship, Football League 1 and Football League 2) in 2004-5 was 29,252,189. This doesn't include domestic and European cup games.

Note 2: Until 2005, the attendance figures in NPB were estimated by the home teams. The estimated figures were normally much higher than the actual numbers of spectators in the game. The total and average attendances only covered regular season games.

Note 3: The NPC, or National Provincial Championship, was replaced in 2006 by two distinct competitions—the fully professional Air New Zealand Cup and the amateur Heartland Championship. The closest parallel to the former NPC Division One is the Air New Zealand Cup.

Note 4: The total attendance is for games held on Metro Manila only.

Note 5: The league is now known as the Magners League since a 2006 sponsorship deal.

Top 10 in Total Attendance:

Domestic knock-out cup competitions

This section list attendances at domestic knock-out cup competitions in order of average attendance. It is very incomplete. In particular, there is a professional football (soccer) cup competition in most countries, and some countries have two.

College and amateur leagues

View of the crowd at the 2004 Rose Bowl College Football Game
View of the crowd at the 2004 Rose Bowl College Football Game

This section lists college and amateur leagues by total attendance. Most remaining amateurism requirements in top level sport were dropped in the late 20th century, and there are now few if any amateur leagues which are of interest to a wide public outside of the United States, where college sports are very popular and at least one significant ice hockey league retains an amateur requirement.

The NCAA championships listed here are all comprised of several separate conferences with varying attendance levels. For example, in American football, Division I-A per-game attendances in 2005 ranged from 14,489 for Mid-American Conference teams to 74,579 for Southeastern Conference teams. [31]

1 The three component leagues of the Canadian Hockey League (the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL) are amateur leagues that draft players from minor hockey, and whose players are in turn drafted by the NHL. Players are allowed to move back and forth between the NHL and the CHL, as well as to European professional leagues and US and Canadian college leagues. The minimum age to play in the NHL is 18 while the age range in the CHL is 15 – 21. This prevents older professionals from invading the CHL. Players are paid a stipend but not a regular salary in the mold of the Collective Bargaining Agreements of other leagues. Teams are for-profit companies.

International club competitions

This section lists the attendances at international competitions between sports clubs. These are usually organised on a continental basis. The teams which compete in these tournaments also compete in the domestic competitions in their home countries.

This table is incomplete.

Note: all stages except Final Four.

Competitions between national teams

Crowd filing into the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, before a Tri Nations rugby  union test match
Crowd filing into the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, before a Tri Nations rugby union test match
This section lists attendances at competitions between national representative teams sorted by average attendance. Please help Wikipedia by adding more competitions.
  • 1Although 32 games were played in the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, tickets were sold only for 20 matchdays. A total of 24 matches were scheduled as doubleheaders—18 during pool play, all four quarterfinals, and both semifinals. However, FIFA took attendance separately for each individual match, and the calculation here reflects this practice.
  • 2World Baseball Classic was hosted in different regions of the world to boost attendance; as opposed to being hosted in one region like other international tournaments.
  • 3The number of games and the average attendance excludes the two cancelled matches during the tournament (Zimbabwe vs England and Kenya vs New Zealand).

Domestic club championship events

Part of the crowd at the AFL Grand Final
Part of the crowd at the AFL Grand Final

This section lists the most recent attendances at annual championship events (single league decider matches) by total attendance, and includes domestic leagues and competitions. It has to be noted that the listed crowd figures are not always a reflection of a championship's popularity, rather the capacity of venue.

International club championship events

note: The Super 14 Final was effected by heavy fog, a possible reason for failure in a capacity crowd.

Competitions between domestic representative sides

This section lists major domestic representative competitions sorted by total attendance. Please help Wikipedia by adding more competitions.

All-Star exhibition games

This section lists major All-star games sorted by total attendance. Please help Wikipedia by adding more matches.


This section lists attendances which do not fit into any of the sections above.


  • NCAA Division I College World Series: The 2005 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska had a total attendance of 263,475 in 11 sessions, for an average of 23,952.[58]
    • NB: The NCAA sells tickets for "sessions" rather than individual games. Some sessions are single games, even when two games are scheduled for the same day, while others are doubleheaders allowing one ticket holder to view both games that day.


  • NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship: The 2006 tournament had a total attendance of 670,254 in 35 sessions, for an average of 19,150. [59]
  • NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship: The 2006 tournament had a total attendance of 189,329 in 34 sessions, for an average of 5,569. This was down from the 2005 tournament total of 233,066 and average of 6,855 in the same number of sessions. [60]
    • NB: For both basketball tournaments, the NCAA sells tickets for "sessions" rather than individual games. The "play-in" game of the men's tournament, the four regional finals of both tournaments, and both national championship games are single-game sessions; all other games in both tournaments are part of a doubleheader at a specific site.
  • NCAA Men's Division I Basketball: The University of Kentucky has won 9 of the past 10 Men's Basketball Attendance titles. The most recent in 2006, saw Kentucky pull in an average of 22,763 fans per contest. Second place went to Syracuse University with an average of 21,587. [61]

Commonwealth Games

  • 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia: Total ticket sales 1.6 million. [62]


  • Annual tri-series (Australia): Total attendance in 2003-04 was 343,329 (Av. 24,452) (Source:2005 Wisden)


  • Tour de France (France and neighbouring countries) the organisers claim 15 million spectators every year [63], with the Guinness Book of Records claiming a more modest 10 million [64]. This is the highest total for any single sporting event; it should be pointed out, however, that attendance is entirely free and not closely monitored.

Gaelic Games

  • Gaelic Athletic Association: attendance at GAA championship events in Ireland in 2003 (including both Gaelic football and hurling) was 1,962,769. [65]


  • PGA Tour: 2004 attendance was over 10 million. [66]
  • PGA Tour's FBR Open: drew 536,767 spectators in 2006, [67] more than any other golf tournament in the world. [68]. This is a routine PGA Tour event which is played on a course which can accommodate exceptionally large crowds. Attendances at most events, including the major championships, are capped well below this level.
  • U.S. Women's Open attendance in 2005 was 131,298. [69]
  • The 2006 Open Championship attracted 230,000 spectators. [1]


  • Japan Racing Association: in 2004 8,099,985 racegoers attended meetings in Japan. [70] Attendances at JRA meetings have fallen every year since 1996, when they were 14,116,684. These numbers do not include the many "local racing" meetings in Japan.
  • British horse racing: in 2005 5,896,922 racegoers attended the 1,300 meetings held in the United Kingdom, an average of 4,536. [71].
  • Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival: a total of 730,110 in 2005 includes the major events e.g., Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup (93,825 in 2005) and Cox Plate (44,189 in 2005) [72] held in Melbourne, Australia
  • Kentucky Derby: 2004 event in the United States attracted a total of 140,054.

Motor racing

  • Indy 500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world, drawing 270,000 spectators annually.[73]
  • NASCAR: United States 6,700,000 at 36 events (Average 186,000) (2003) [74]
  • Lexmark Indy 300: Surfers Paradise, Queensland 2005 attendance of 316,459[75]
  • Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix: Total attendance for the 2006 Australian Grand Prix held in Melbourne was 301,500 [76].
  • Canadian Grand Prix: Total attendance for the 2006 Canadian Grand Prix held in Montreal was 332,000 [77].
  • Adelaide Clipsal 500: Adelaide, Australia 2006 attendance of 270,300 over 4 days[78].


Summer Olympics

  • 2004 Athens Olympics: 3.8 million tickets sold.
  • 2000 Sydney Olympics: 6.7 million tickets sold
  • 1996 Atlanta Olympics: 8.3 million tickets sold
  • 1992 Barcelona Olympics: 3.0 million tickets sold
  • 1988 Seoul Olympics: 3.3 million tickets sold
  • 1984 Los Angeles Olympics: 5.7 million tickets sold

Winter Olympics

  • 2006 Turin Olympics: 0.9 million tickets sold [79]
  • 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics: 1.525 million tickets sold
  • 1998 Nagano Olympics: 1.275 million tickets sold
  • 1994 Lillehammer Olympics: 1.2 million tickets sold
  • 1992 Albertville Olympics: 0.9 million tickets sold
  • 1988 Calgary Olympics: 1.6 million tickets sold

All figures except Turin 2006 from


  • In 2004 attendance at the 64 ATP tournaments and four Grand Slam events was 6,004,648. [80]
  • Flushing Meadows, U.S. Open: total attendance at the 2005 event was 659,538. [81]
  • Melbourne Park, Australian Open - total attendance for 2006 Australian Open held in Melbourne was 550,550. [82]
  • Wimbledon Championships: total attendance at the 2005 event was 467,188. [83]
  • Roland Garros, French Open : total attendance at the 2004 event was 413,419. [84]


  1. ^ Record crowds enjoy Hoylake Open, BBC Sport, 23 July 2006.
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