More than 10 European football clubs broke the one million mark for tickets sold for league games for the first time in the 2016-17 season.
Figures released by UEFA, European football’s governing body, show that of the record-breaking 11, five of those were from the English Premier League.
Barcelona sat at the top spot with a total of 1.49 million, an average of more than 78,000 supporters attending its LaLiga games at its 99,354-capacity Camp Nou home. Manchester United followed closely in second place with a total attendance of 1.43 million.
German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, which sat in third place with 1.35 million, actually sold more tickets for each game on average than the two top clubs. While the club saw an average of 79,653 fans per game, it played only 17 home games in the 18-team Bundesliga as opposed to 19 home games in the other major European leagues.
Following West Ham United’s move to the 66,000-capacity London Stadium, the Premier League club pushed its way into the one-million elite group, sitting in seventh place with 1.08 million sold.
The UEFA report states: “The 2016-17 attendance figures of top domestic leagues totalled just under a hundred million. Compared with 2015-16, total attendances were down one per cent, primarily due to the mix of clubs promoted and relegated in England and Germany.
“Attendances were generally stable across Europe, with 18 countries reporting a year-on-year change of less then five per cent. While five leagues reported a significant increase of more than 15 per cent, there were eight leagues, all in eastern Europe, that reported a notable decrease of more than 15 per cent.”
The English Premier League was the most popular league in Europe, with the top three English leagues entering the best 10 attended divisions in Europe.
The Premier League was at No.1 in total ticket sales with 13.6 million, while the Championship was at No.3 with 11.1 million tickets sold. The Bundesliga sat in second place with 12.7 million sold.
England’s third-tier League One boasted 4.4 million tickets sold last season, placing it in ninth place on the list, selling more tickets last season than the top divisions of most European nations.
Image: Peter F