Monday night games have never really captured the imagination of the average League of Ireland fan. Traditionally they have resulted in a drop in attendances compared to the usual Friday or Saturday fixture.
Last season midweek games all ranked at the wrong end of the totals tables. The average gate for a Monday last season was 1,303. There were 22 games that took place last season on that day. The first midweek Gameweek for the 2017 season took place last Monday with a crowd total of 8,562 coming through the turnstiles. The average gate was 1,427.
The most direct comparison to last season would be to Gameweek 3, which also took place on a Monday. In 2016, that Gameweek drew a total crowd of 9,175 (average attendance of 1,529).
Looking at the individual clubs, Cork City’s home game against Sligo Rovers topped the tables with 2,722 in attendance. Incidentally the Rebel Army played the Bit o’Red only once at home in the league last season, which also happened to be a Monday fixture, and drew 2,575.
Limerick were by far the trail blazers in the First Division for crowd numbers last season and they are continuing to land solid gates so far in the Premier. They recorded the second highest attendance figure on Monday with 1,756 present to see the SuperBlues lose to Bohemians by a single goal to nil.
Derry City didn’t provide any official figures last year. Their move to Maginn Park means a sell-out crowd can be easier to estimate. Their 3-1 win over Dundalk was watched by roughly 1,500 spectators and placed them third in the Gameweek charts.
Last year the Friday night encounter of Galway United and Shamrock Rovers drew 631. On Monday (for a 7pm kick off), 1,051 visited Eamonn Deacy Park including the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins.
St. Patrick’s Athletic and Bray Wanderers crowds failed to break the 1,000 mark with attendance figures of 895 and 638 respectively.
Whatever about Monday night football, this weekend sees the League of Ireland face a new attendance challenge. On Friday, four games take place which clashes with St Patrick’s Day in Ireland – a national holiday. On Saturday, some of the games could be impacted by the final 6 Nations game between Ireland and England. Turn into our weekly attendance article after the weekend to see how the attendances fared.
Gameweek 4 Attendances in Full