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Cork City may be top of the league but, after five games, they are not top of the attendance charts. That honour goes to Shamrock Rovers. After five Gameweeks, their average crowd of 3,839 per game is the best in the league. In second place is Dundalk with 3,569. The Rebel Army are third with an average showing of 3,029.
The league found itself in direct competition with a number of once off factors this weekend. Friday’s four games went up against St Patrick’s Day revelry whilst on Saturday, the other six games loitered on either side of Ireland’s Six Nations clash with England. The change in traditional times for clubs has usually resulted in lowered attendance figures but did that happen this weekend?
Tallaght saw the clash of Shamrock Rovers and Cork City but despite the top of the table team visiting the Hoops, it resulted in Rovers lowest crowd of the three home games to date. 3,045 may have been their lowest game so far but it was the best of the Gameweek.
Dundalk entertained St Patrick’s Athletic and saw a sizable drop in figures compared to their first two home games (4,746 and 3,286). 2,675 turned up to watch the Champions dispatch the Saints.
Derry City’s crowd figures are estimated but we put the crowd at roughly 1,400.
Sligo Rovers attendance rallied (1,387) for their Saturday game compared to the Friday night game a week before (1,087) but neither are near their opening home game crowd of 2,138.
The early Saturday kick-off in Markets Field seems to have had a sizable impact on their numbers. Their opening game of the season drew 2,357 with their Monday night game luring an impressive 1,756 but the weekend game managed 1,186.
Bohemians home gate has also been declining each time they played at home. 2,170 on the opening night turned to 1,505 for the visit of Bray Wanderers and last Friday’s game saw 1,137 turn the stiles at Dalymount Park.
In the First Division, the total attendance across the four games summed 1,297. Four of the Premier Division individual gates drew more than the total First Division audience on the weekend. The best of the lower division’s attendances was Shelbourne with 422, then Longford Town on 321, Cobh with 312 and Cabinteely on 242.
The Gameweek average attendance was 1,213 which is the lowest of the season so far.
So five weeks into the new campaign, 65,308 people have visited the League of Ireland across 45 games. The opening night attendance for Bohemians visit to Shamrock Rovers remains the one to beat (5,220). In the First Division, Waterford are the only team to have broken the 1,000 mark.
The Facts and Figures so far
GAMEWEEK 5 FIGURES
GAMEWEEK BY GAMEWEEK
TEAM BY TEAM - Total Crowds, Average Gates
In addition to our usual gameweek attendance article this week, we have also taken a look at an analysis of League of Ireland attendances from a European Context. Check out Is the League of Ireland under-supported?