Super League attendance record broken in opening round

Featured Image: Betfred Super League

The first round of this year’s Super League season broke the competition’s attendance record for a six-match opening round by more than 10% as 76,752 fans attended matches from February 15 to 17.

The round saw an average crowd of 12,792, which is the highest total in the 29 seasons since the Super League was launched in 1996.

In addition to fans travelling to the stadiums, there was also unprecedented television coverage.

“This has been a landmark weekend for the Betfred Super League competition,” said managing director of Rugby League Commercial Rhodri Jones.

“It’s the first time we have had every fixture in a round televised by Sky Sports, other than Magic Weekends and last year’s Rivals Round – and we have also launched SuperLeague+ as the sport’s first global direct-to-consumer streaming platform, which offered live coverage of all six matches globally and four of the six in the UK.

“Saturday evening’s match between Castleford Tigers and Wigan Warriors made history as the first Super League fixture to be shown live on BBC Sport, and we had unprecedented levels of international broadcast coverage including L’Equipe and TV3 streaming Catalans Dragons’ opening win against Warrington Wolves through France and Spain.”

Jones added: “The attendance figures are the icing on the cake. We were always hopeful of breaking the record for a six-match opening round, but the outstanding efforts of our clubs in promoting the matches has delivered aggregate and average figures which are more than 10% higher than previously achieved in almost three decades of the Super League.”

More records are expected to fall as Wigan Warriors prepare to take on the National Rugby League’s Penrith Panthers this Saturday (February 24).

Jones claims that a sell-out crowd of 25,000 is guaranteed at DW Stadium, in what would be the biggest crowd for a World Club Challenge match for a decade and the biggest in England since 2010.

The match is also set to be broadcast on BBC Two, Sky Sports, and SuperLeague+.

Last week, as part of its continued reimagining, Rugby League Commercial brought in as its new ticketing provider for all major central events.