Belfast Telegraph

Irish League crowds increase by 30% in under a decade

Irish League attendances are on the rise again this season, the NI Football League has said.

The cumulative total of spectators since the start of the season is 51,964 - an average of 1,106 spectators per match.

Forty three per cent (20 of 47) of games played have enjoyed a highest recorded crowd for that specific fixture since top-flight attendance figures have been published in the last 10 seasons.

It marks a ten season high for the Northern Ireland Football League with the average crowd having grown by almost 30% since 2008/09 season - up 3% on last season.

NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston said: “We started the season back in August with a record crowd for a Ballymena United v Crusaders game and the trend has continued right up until last Saturday when Glentoran hosted a record crowd for a Coleraine game – in fact, the highest recorded attendance for a non ‘Big Two’ games since they won the league in May 2009!

“It’s been fantastic to see and it’s noticeable the rise in numbers when we’re at the games, it’s adds to the fantastic atmosphere within the Danske Bank Premiership. Credit must go to the clubs for all their hard work in their initiatives to encourage the fans back.”

Glenavon face Dungannon Swifts on Friday night. Ards travel to Ballinamallard on Saturday afternoon, while leaders Coleraine go to Ballymena.

Cliftonville face Linfield and Warrenpoint Town host Carrick Rangers. On Monday evening, Glentoran take on Crusaders.

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