2018 League of Ireland Attendances - Gameweek 2

Tue, Feb 27 2018

Cork City fans packed into Turner's Cross on Friday evening Credit: Michael P Ryan

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Week 2 of the League of Ireland saw the First Division kick-off with five games down for decision. Due to floodlight issues, Drogheda United’s game against Finn Harps was postponed which meant nine games took place instead of ten across the two divisions.

The opening weekend of the 2018 season saw 14,460 people attend the five Premier Division games which averaged at 2,892.

In the Premier Division for Week 2, 16,176 spectators attended the five games meaning an average of 3,235 for the top tier. Compared to all the weeks in the 2017 season, it ranks first. So far the first two weeks of Premier Division averages in 2018 occupy the top two positions when compared to last season.

Examining that figure closer you will find that Cork City and Shamrock Rovers home gate makes up 65% of that tally. Cork City had an impressive 6,443 attend Turner’s Cross. 4,065 punters took in the game in Tallaght Stadium.

Sligo Rovers second home game in a row saw a dip from the opening game but the 2,319 still beat every Showgrounds attendance in 2017 and all but one in 2016.

Limerick also recorded an impressive gate of 2,225 when compared to the previous two seasons. Bray Wanderers recorded the lowest Premier Division attendance of the weekend with 1,124. Comparing to last season that figure would have been their 7th highest out of 16.

The First Division has been talked about in pre-season as one of the most competitive in years but did that get the crowds out to the grounds?

2,647 people attended the four games on offer averaging at 662. Whilst it seems like a small average, it ranks fourth highest when compared to last season’s gameweeks.

Galway United registered the largest crowd with 1,198 in attendance in Eamonn Deacy Park.  The drop to the First Division has impacted their opening gate with the 2017 opener against Drogheda United recording 2,113 and last season’s average coming in at 1,359.

Longford Town welcomed Cobh Ramblers to City Calling Stadium on Saturday and 575 were in attendance. Whilst again, in isolation, this looks small, when compared to last season it ranks as their largest crowd of the season by 95.

UCD fought back to defeat Shelbourne on Friday night and 550 watched on from the stands in Belfield. Like Longford, you might think this isn’t a large crowd, but when matched with 2017 attendances it also comes in as the largest crowd by 168. The Students opening game in 2017 against Shels drew 382 and was their best showing of last season.

The final attendance figure is from Cabinteely’s home game against Wexford. 324 turned up for this clash which is almost matching Cabo’s last season average. Last season the Southsiders played Wexford twice at home drawing crowds of 346 and 137. Steady as she goes in Stradbrook.

So overall after two weeks of League of Ireland football 33,283 people have turned the stiles across 14 grounds averaging at 2,377. Again, the only way to know what that really means is to look backwards.

In 2017, 32,212 attended 19 games in the first two weeks averaging 1,695. In 2016, 33,192 attended 19 games in the same period averaging 1,747.

Looking at totals, the 2018 league figures show promise but there is a long season ahead and momentum will need to be maintained. Traditionally that has proved to be quite a challenge. 

 

Gameweek 1 Attendances

Home

   

Away

Attendance

Dundalk

0

0

Bray Wanderers

2,491

Waterford FC

2

1

Derry City

2,502

St. Patrick's Athletic

2

3

Cork City

2,771

Sligo Rovers

0

1

Limerick

3,056

Bohemians

3

1

Shamrock Rovers

3,640

     

Total

14,460

     

Average

2,892

 

Gameweek 2 Attendances

Home

   

Away

Attendance

Cork City

2

0

Waterford

6,443

Shamrock Rovers

0

0

Dundalk

4,065

Sligo Rovers

2

1

Derry City

2,319

Limerick 

1

1

Bohemians

2,225

Galway United

4

1

Athlone Town

1,198

Bray Wanderers

1

2

St. Patrick's Athletic

1,124

Longford Town

2

2

Cobh Ramblers

575

UCD

2

1

Shelbourne

550

Cabinteely

0

1

Wexford

324

     

Total

18,823

     

Average

2,892

     

Prem Total

16,176

     

Prem Av

3,235

     

First Total

2,647

     

First  Av

662