Friday, 9 June 2017

European Attendances : 1995-1999

In the UK the game appears to have needed a lift in the early 1990's. Public interest was obviously down as the attendance figures testify. What was needed? Fortuitously an idea was raised from a media source called Super League, a concept to take the game to the world. The UK was happy to get on board but the other professional competition in Australia was fiercely divided over it. That led to a split in the game down under which was only placated with a compromise solution. That meant SL never achieved fully what it set out to do.

However, the UK proceeded with it and the television deal that was included. It didn't take the game global, but SL certainly put money into it and captured the public interest again. That can be seen by the change in attendance figures in the 1995-6 season (the last before SL) and the subsequent years.

In the 1995-6 season, a paltry average of 5,516 was achieved per match. That amounted to 606,727 in total for regular season games, excluding any finals matches. For the first year of SL, that jumped to 6,578 or 868,255 in total. That represented a 43.1% increase. Thereafter the average was consistent for the remainder of the decade*.

Would SL continue to impact on the game in the UK? The next in the series will address that question. You can see that by clicking here.

SL Attendances 1995-99


AVG 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995-6
1 Bradford 11585 13216 12512 15122 10346 6731
2 Leeds 11021 13482 11494 11007 8581 10540
3 Wigan 9942 9206 10610 8867 10168 10861
4 St Helens 8190 8201 7206 8826 10221 6494
5 Paris St G 6768 - - 5510 8026 -
6 Castleford 5398 6877 6395 5004 5012 3702
7 Warrington 5009 5110 4897 5404 5157 4475
8 Hull FC 4999 4376 5621 - - -
9 Halifax 4933 4483 5455 5408 5083 4234
10 Salford 4800 4505 4692 5202 - -
11 Huddersfield 4436 3729 5142 - - -
12 Wakefield 4181 4181 - - - -
13 Sheffield 4024 3540 4641 4413 4704 2824
14 London 3953 2928 3842 5125 5699 2170
15 Gateshead 3888 3888 - - - -
16 Oldham 3453 - - 3832 3629 2898
17 Workington 2544 - - - 2305 2783

TOT AVG 6443 6266 6876 6977 6578 5516
TOTAL 932113 1315836 948831 920915 868255 606728

* In 1996, the number of teams went from 11 to 12. Then again an increase in competing sides from 12 to 14 in 1999, which reduced the average but bumped up the total figure.

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