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» One Touch Football - Archive » Sport » The most watched leagues in the world (Page 1)

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Rogin the Armchair fan
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Yes, okay, I picked this from Nuts! magazine today. But even so, it's surprising in a couple of places:

1. NFL - 67,500 average crowd
2. Bundesliga - 37,800
3. Australian Football League - 35,700 (I assume this is the sleeves ripped off, Gary Ablett version, not the "soccer")
4. FA Premier League - 33,900
5. MLB - 31,000
6. La Liga - 28,400
7. Canadian Football League - 27,300
8. Serie A - 25,800
9. Ligue 1 (France) - 21,400
10. J League - 19,000

The Canadian Football League (that's the "Grey Cup", isn't it?) attracts bigger crowds than Serie A? That's an eye-opener. As is the fact that the J-League is 6th in terms of soccer leagues, ahead of those of Holland, Scotland, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil.

And I never knew that NFL average crowds were the equivalent of a decent FA Cup Semi-Final attendance at Wembley. What are ticket prices like at those games? Surely many of them are "dead" games between teams that can't possibly reach the playoffs, once half the season's over?

[ 25.03.2008, 16:34: Message edited by: Rogin the Armchair fan ]

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Hieronymus Bosch
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Why wouldn't the J League get bigger crowds than the SPL? There are only about five million people in the whole of Scotland.

I see Serie A has gone up by about six thousand fans per game in the past two seasons, now that Juventus are back in town.

Would be interesting to see the figures for the All-Ireland football championship. Croke Park usually gets a fair few full houses of 82,000, especially when Dublin put together a good run. But the average figure for the championship would be dragged downwards by sparsely-attended first round qualifiers in places like Dr Hyde Park.

[ 25.03.2008, 16:45: Message edited by: Hieronymus Bosch ]

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Rogin the Armchair fan
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I just never knew the Japanese had taken to football in such a huge way. I thought baseball was still their national sport, but the J-League equivalent in baseball appears to not attract the crowds in anything like the same way?
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ursus arctos
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I'm not surprised at all.

The CFL only has eight teams, and Serie A attendances outside of the Milano clubs and Roma have been awful for quite a while (this year's average is actually under 24,000).

The number that surprises me is the Ligue 1 figure; it was definitely below 20,000 a few years ago, but I guess that Lyon's rise has helped the average. The baseball figure will also have risen in recent years (and is remarkable for being over the course of a regular season in which each team plays 81 games at home).

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ursus arctos
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It's scarcity; leagues with very few games but decent popularity will draw well. The vast majority of NFL seats are sold a season ticket basis, with more than a few teams having waiting lists (the New York Giants waiting list is notoriously long).

Bosch, the Juve effect hasn't been that great; they are averaging just a tad above 20,000 a game in their perhaps not so ridiculously small new ground (which holds 25,000). Their impact as a visitor as been greater, as their nationwide supporter base means that they are almost always the most popular visitor to any of the other teams (outside of derby rivals in Rome and Milan).

Current stats for Serie A (the same site has historical figures (back to 1962) and those for Serie B and C).

[ 25.03.2008, 16:46: Message edited by: ursus arctos ]

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Amor de Cosmos
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The CFL only has eight teams,

Nine again soon. Ottawa's coming back in 2010. Third time lucky?

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Rogin the Armchair fan
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What would NBA crowds be like if there was any way of playing them in indoor arenas larger than the likes of Madison Square Garden? I get the impression that you can't get courtside tickets for the Knicks or the Lakers for love nor money, but I guess the arenas they play in only hold around 15,000 max?
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ursus arctos
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It's America, Rogin. You can get anything for money.

NBA arenas hold about 17,500 people on average. Basketball is horrible to watch in a larger arena. Though they are used for the later rounds of "March Madness" and could be viable for a NBA Finals or one-off game, I don't think they would work over the course of an 82-game season (a number of teams have used domed stadia as temporary arenas, and always restricted capacity).

MLB attendance data.

NFL attendance data.

NBA attendance data

NHL attendance data.

[ 25.03.2008, 17:10: Message edited by: ursus arctos ]

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Amor de Cosmos
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The newer NBA/NHL arenas hold closer to 20,000.

It would depend very much on which city it is. For instance if hockey was an outdoor sport in Canada, you'd regularly see crowds of 40,000 up in Toronto and Montreal (assuming they could see) but your never going to draw more than 12,000 in most southern US locations.

[ 25.03.2008, 17:03: Message edited by: Amor de Cosmos ]

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S. aureus
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Unless I'm misreading this page,SEC football (American college) had an average attendance of 75,706 in 2006.
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linus
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UA, France's football attendances have been greatly bolstered by the 1998 World Cup. There are many teams like Lens or Bordeaux (not to mention attendance leaders like Marseille, PSG or Lyon) that have good support but there also are some teams that consistently draw that average down, like Monaco and maybe Nice (which is a glorified retirement community.)

There is a very strong case for making the argument that the most heavily attended sport actually is US college football, if you consider attendance figures for the top 50 programs. This is essentially is what is done in the ranking above, which only looks at attendance for the very top leagues like the Serie A or the Bundesliga.

The figures on the right below are the average attendance; the University of Michigan for instance is averaging 110,000 fans per game!) :

Rank School G Attendance Average
1. Michigan 7 770,183 110,026
2. Penn St. 7 752,972 107,567
3. Tennessee 7 740,521 105,789
4. Ohio St. 7 735,674 105,096
5. Georgia 7 649,222 92,746
6. LSU 8 737,696 92,212
7. Alabama 8 737,104 92,138
8. Southern California 6 548,880 91,480
9. Florida 7 632,866 90,409
10. Texas 7 619,534 88,505
11. Auburn 8 680,506 85,063
12. Nebraska 7 595,309 85,044
13. Oklahoma 6 507,366 84,561
14. Clemson 7 580,942 82,992
15. Wisconsin 7 569,576 81,368
16. Notre Dame 7 565,565 80,795
17. Florida St. 8 644,256 80,532
18. Texas A&M 7 531,894 75,985
19. South Carolina 7 529,412 75,630
20. Arkansas 6 443,368 73,895
21. Michigan St. 7 495,731 70,819
22. Iowa 7 494,095 70,585
Rank School G Attendance Average
23. Virginia Tech 8 529,864 66,233
24. UCLA 7 454,683 64,955
25. California 7 450,223 64,318
26. Brigham Young 6 363,146 60,524
27. West Virginia 7 411,408 58,773
28. Oregon 6 350,267 58,378
29. Virginia 6 346,389 57,732
30. Washington 6 344,897 57,483
31. Kentucky 7 401,307 57,330
32. North Carolina St. 7 395,779 56,540
33. Missouri 7 391,424 55,918
34. Arizona 7 390,589 55,798
35. Purdue 7 388,198 55,457
36. Arizona St. 6 327,369 54,562
37. Mississippi 7 376,604 53,801
38. Minnesota 6 313,239 52,207
39. Texas Tech 6 305,243 50,874
40. Georgia Tech 7 354,321 50,617

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ursus arctos
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I was actually going to make the college football argument, but couldn't find the stats in the places I was looking. Once again, the small number of games (and the large "catchment areas" involved, often with little professional competition) play a huge role there.

And linus, yes, I was thinking of the likes of Monaco, Nice, Lorient, Nancy and Caen (though the latter have a ground that I still think of as being new).

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Reed
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The top programs not only have big stadiums, but no trouble filling them for every game. For example, at Penn State, we might get 108,000 for a big game against Ohio State, but can easily get 100,000+ paid attendance (an near that for "real" attendance) for a game against Akron.

People go for the total experience, not just the match up. The people who don't have season tickets and can't afford to buy Michigan-Penn State tickets from a scalper, will go to a Penn State-Temple games and buy from a scalper for below face value and bring their whole family. Either way, the seats are filled.

The spring scrimmage games are now getting big crowds. If the weather is good Penn State will draw 60,000+. Last year, Alabama got something like 90,000 to theirs.

As a Penn State fan, I continue to find Michigan's claim to have "The Big House" to be obnoxious. It's well known that the stadium is actually smaller than ours. It's just that they provide less space for each fan's ass.

It's not just the big schools whose attendance's are incredible. William & Mary gets 10,000 a game. That may not seem like much, but given the overall standard of play, the size of the school and the size of Williamsburg, that's remarkable.

And 574 souls, on average, show up each week to watch MIT football. Even that's hard to fathom.

Gridiron is popular.

[ 25.03.2008, 17:46: Message edited by: Reed ]

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Soccer Scrimmage
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yeah, as has been mentioned this is all very deceiving because of stadium size and number of games.
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Inca
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quote:
24. UCLA 7 454,683 64,955
And those are poor crowds--I think the Rose Bowl's capacity for UCLA home games is around 80,000.
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