A huge rise in the number of people attending League of Ireland games in 2023
- 935,415 fans attended domestic football matches in 2023
- Attendances in SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division rise 22.4%
- Total number of people at League of Ireland games rises to 826,086
Attendances in the League of Ireland rose 20% in 2023 with 826,086 people attending fixtures across all three Divisions compared to 688,272 attending in 2022.
This figure grows to nearly one million to 935,415 with the inclusion of attendances from the Sports Direct Men’s and Women’s FAI Cup, the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup and the President’s Cups.
Crowds in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division increased 22.4% in 2023 compared to last season with the average attendance rising from 2,687 in 2022 to 3,294 as Shamrock Rovers won an historic fourth title in-a-row.
The total number of spectators in the League of Ireland top flight saw increased crowds from 486,365 to over half a million at 596,196.
Eight Clubs in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division experienced rises in their average attendance with Bohemians, Drogheda United and St. Patrick’s Athletic rising 32%, 31% and 21% respectively as Bohemians saw home fans return to the Des Kelly Stand while away fans were located in the new Mono Stand for 2023. With the addition of Kerry to the SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division in 2023, there were a further 18,050 people at games in the SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division this year compared to 2022 with 196,050 in total.
Six Clubs in the Division all saw increases with Athlone Town’s crowds jumping 184% to 872 from 307.Some 44 games sold out across the League of Ireland in 2023 with games in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier and First Divisions regularly reaching capacity.
Attendances in the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division also rose from 23,907 to 33,840 compared to last year as the average crowd increased from 196 to 308, an increase of 57% as the interest in women’s football continues to grow.
The largest attendance of the League of Ireland season was at Tallaght Stadium where 8,021 saw Shamrock Rovers lift the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division title against Sligo Rovers.
For the first time, there were four SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division games with over 1,000 people at them while the biggest crowd to date was Shamrock Rovers v Peamount United with 1,464 at Tallaght Stadium.
These figures are in addition to the Sports Direct Men’s and Women’s FAI Cup Finals which had crowds of 43,881 and 3,526 respectively as well as both Men’s Semi-Finals in Turners Cross and Eamonn Deacy Park selling out, St. Patrick’s Athletic’s win over Bohemians in the Aviva Stadium saw the competition’s highest ever attendance.
League of Ireland Director, Mark Scanlon, said: “After a brilliant season in the League of Ireland this year, we were delighted to see crowds rise again compared to the previous year.
Though we are pleased to see the demand continue to rise, it once more highlights the need we have for improved infrastructure and stadia across the League of Ireland in order for Clubs to continue to cater for demand. With the highest attendances in the SSE Airtricity Men’s and Women’s Premier Divisions in Tallaght Stadium, it further emphasises that good stadia can help attract even more fans to the League of Ireland which is experiencing unprecedented demand as shown by the Sports Direct Men’s FAI Cup Final this year.
As Clubs continue to grow and develop, you can see the hard work that they continue to do every day is reaping the rewards through the attendances rising at such a high rate. Work is already well underway for 2024 as we look forward to a League of Ireland season which can reach even more people across the country.”