The feeling that League of Ireland attendances are significantly up this year has now been confirmed as fact.
The buzz surrounding the Premier Division this season has been reflected in the early crowds, with grounds all around the country boasting terrific crowds to kick the 2018 campaign in the best way possible.
Official SSE Aitricity League figures released on Monday show that, on average, attendances are over 20% higher than this time last year – 21% higher, to be precise.
The numbers show that the ten Premier Division fixtures in the first two weekends drew a figure of 30,629, a jump from 27,774 last year. Considering there has been one game less in that time due to the reduced top tier (there would have been two less but Derry City v Limerick was postponed and thus not counted), that figure is doubly impressive.
The average attendance at Premier Division grounds for the last two weekends clocked in at 3,063, up 538 from last year’s figure of 2,525.
While these figures are very encouraging for the league, it should also be noted that attendances are likely to be lower for Monday and Tuesday’s fixtures for a number of reasons. The freezing conditions will have a big impact, so too will the long journeys to be made by visiting fans on a weeknight (Limerick to Dundalk, Cork to Sligo etc).
That being said, the increase is still a hugely positive one and bodes well for the season if it can be maintained as well as possible.