League of Ireland Attendances 2017 - Gameweek 1-8

Sat, Apr 15 2017

Cork City top the table on attendances so far in 2017 Credit: Tom Beary

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We were on a good run. There is no denying it. The first three Gameweeks came and went and not an estimate in sight. Gameweek 4 saw Derry play their first home game which means a guaranteed estimated attendance. Gameweek 5,6 and 7 had one estimate each (Derry twice and Pats once) but on the whole this was a solid start to 2017. Gameweek 8 has been the iceberg to our over confident Titanic. Of the ten fixtures, four are estimated.

 

Of the four estimates, two are as official as unofficial attendance figures can be. Of the other two, our reporters had to use their guessimating powers.

 

After eight Gameweeks, the total attendance figure for 2017 stands at 108,430 across 74 games with an average attendance of 1,465. In 2016, after the same number of Gameweeks, the number was 96,899 averaging at 1,346. The trends are up on 2015 too, if only slightly - 108,760 over 76 games resulting in an average of 1,430.  

 

That’s all great for the league but the distribution of those totals are really the true indicator of how the league is faring and so let’s delve into the breakdown of who is the kingpin of attendances and who can count their crowds between stops in play.

 

Cork City are top dogs so far this season. To put their crowd into perspective, barring Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk, they are better than double every other clubs average crowd. Even then, the difference between the Rebel Army’s best crowd (vs Dundalk 6,746 on a Saturday night) and worst (vs Sligo Rovers 2,722 on a Monday) is 4,024. Monday night football clearly doesn’t seem to attract League of Ireland fans in the same numbers as a Friday / Saturday game and can have quite an impact on crucial gate revenues.   

 

Shamrock Rovers have the second best average so far this season with 3,507. Champions Dundalk sit in third with 3,431. There is a drop of 1,360 to 4th but it is still an excellent showing for newly promoted Limerick with an average gate of 2,071.

 

The top First Division club so far this season is Waterford FC. They sit 7th of the 20 teams and have dramatically improved on their attendance showing of 2016. The Blues finished second bottom of the averages table last year on 277. They currently have an average crowd of 1,546.

 

The bottom seven spots are occupied by the rest of the First Division. The lower division continues to struggle to attract crowds, and similar to last year, one team has a sizable lead over the rest. The Division’s total of 13,405 through the turnstiles in the first eight Gameweeks is 12.36% of the 2017 attendance total. To make some comparisons, the home gates of either Cork City, Shamrock Rovers or Dundalk over their first four fixtures is greater than the total First Division viewing audience.

 

So how are clubs doing so far this season compared to their 2016 end of season averages? Cork City (up 1,987), Shamrock Rovers (up 1,466), Dundalk (up 693), Limerick (up 938), Bohemians (up 226), Waterford (up 1,269), St Pats (up 522), Finn Harps (up 247), Galway United (up 276), Drogheda United (up 403), Cabinteely (up 120) and Athlone Town (up 113) have all posted better averages on the figures provided to Extratime.ie.

 

Sligo Rovers (down 203), Bray Wanderers (down 213), Shelbourne (down 28), Cobh Ramblers (down 52),  Longford Town (down 141), Wexford (down 200) and UCD (down 86) are all registering below season totals last year.

 

I have excluded Derry City from the list as all last year and this year’s crowd figures are estimated.

 

The best attended game so far this season was Gameweek 6's clash of Cork City and Dundalk which drew a crowd of 6,746. The Rebel Army are also in second place where 5,275 fans turned up for the Turner's Cross visit of Derry City in Gameweek 8. Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians Dublin derby in Gameweek 2 is third on 5,220. The top ten fixtures are available to view below.  

 

If you have any feedback or corrections, please comment in the area below this article.

 

Gameweek by Gameweek - The Totals and Averages

Gameweek  No of Teams Total Average
Gameweek 1 10 17,040 1,704
Gameweek 2 9 15,172 1,686
Gameweek 3 10 12,603 1,260
Gameweek 4 6 8,562 1,427
Gameweek 5 10 12,127 1,213
Gameweek 6 9 14,306 1,590
Gameweek 7 10 15,144 1,514
Gameweek 8 10 13,476 1,348
TOTAL 74 108,430 1465.27

 

First Eight Gameweeks - 2015, 2016, 2017 Comparison

Year Total Estimates Games Average
2017 108,430 8 74 1,465
2016 96,899 12 72 1,346
2015 108,670 13 76 1,430

 

Club by Club Totals and Averages 

Club Total Average Games Pld
Cork City 18,078 4,520 4
Shamrock Rovers 14,026 3,507 4
Dundalk 13,722 3,431 4
Limerick FC 8,284 2,071 4
Bohemians 7,412 1,853 4
Sligo Rovers 6,198 1,550 4
Waterford FC 4,639 1,546 3
St. Patrick's Athletic 5,917 1,479 4
Derry City 4,400 1,467 3
Finn Harps 5,829 1,457 4
Galway United FC 4,336 1,445 3
Drogheda United 3,942 986 4
Bray Wanderers 2,881 720 4
Shelbourne 1,666 555 3
Cabinteely FC 1,888 472 4
Cobh Ramblers 1,403 351 4
Longford Town 1,042 347 3
Athlone Town 1,076 269 4
Wexford FC 765 255 3
UCD 926 232 4

 

Club Averages 2016 versus 2017 so far 

 

Club 2017 Av 2016 Av Diff
Cork City 4,520 2,533 1,987
Shamrock Rovers 3,507 2,041 1,466
Dundalk 3,431 2,738 693
Limerick FC 2,071 1,133 938
Bohemians 1,853 1,627 226
Sligo Rovers 1,550 1,752 -203
Waterford FC 1,546 277 1,269
St. Patrick's Athletic 1,479 957 522
Derry City 1,467 1,519 -52
Finn Harps 1,457 1,210 247
Galway United FC 1,445 1,169 276
Drogheda United 986 583 403
Bray Wanderers 720 933 -213
Shelbourne 555 583 -28
Cabinteely FC 472 352 120
Cobh Ramblers 351 403 -52
Longford Town 347 488 -141
Athlone Town 269 156 113
Wexford FC 255 455 -200
UCD 232 317 -86

 

Top Ten Fixtures in 2017 

 

Date Home Team A Away Team Att 
25/03 Cork City 2 1 Dundalk 6,746
07/04 Cork City 3 0 Derry City 5,275
03/03 Shamrock Rvrs 2 1 Bohemians 5,220
24/02 Dundalk 2 1 Shamrock Rvrs 4,746
03/03 Cork City 4 0 Galway Utd 3,335
10/03 Dundalk 1 0 Limerick FC 3,286
10/03 Shamrock Rvrs 0 1 Derry City 3,251
17/03 Shamrock Rvrs 1 2 Cork City 3,045
31/03 Dundalk 3 1 Drogheda Utd 3,015
31/03 Limerick FC 0 3 Cork City 2,985