The total attendees went down from 1,620,000 to 1,602,000, a drop of 1.1%. The average went from 8.953 to 8,850. Magic Weekend is a time all the teams gather at one venue for a smorgasbord of RL games. It has been held in the city of Newcastle these past two years and have been well attended, although the total number dropped slightly in 2017 (-4.2%).
Looking at the chart below shows Leeds to be the best supported team. 14,700 turned up each game on average. Wigan managed about 13,700. With four sides unable to muster 6,000, this shows the need to expand the reach of the game.
Please note the Magic W/E attendance is not included in the club averages but is in the total figure and total average. Another point of interest is that Leigh's promotion to SL increased it's average attendance figure by 78%. How much did Hull KR lose with it's average attendance figure when relegated? Only 3.5%.
|Hull FC||11,375||Hull FC||11,670|
|Magic W/E||65,407||Magic W/E||68,276|
The M62 corridor should always be a central part of RL in the Northern Hemisphere but there are too many clubs along it in SL. Toronto is new to RL and they played in the third division but they had more fans on average turn up than five SL teams could manage. It's economic necessity that will drive change, along with visionaries like Eric Perez and the open mindedness of the RFL to accept change.
Now looking at all three divisions in combination with each other. The total attendance for 2017 was (drum roll) .............. 1,987,500 compared to 1,905,200, a 4.3% increase. However, there was one extra team so the total attendance per team was 49,700 as opposed to 48,800 or a 1.7% increase. Yay.
A satisfactory result in the end. How will 2018 pan out? I'm not sure but a 2% increase would be a safe estimate. What do you think?
PS. The figures above are for the 30 regular rounds of SL and for some teams 23 games plus qualifying matches, or fourteen to fifteen home games each. That change was made on 14.11.17 from 23 SL rounds before.
To see the Championship (div 2) or League 1 (div 3), simply click on them.