A-League attendances are drastically lower than pre-pandemic numbers, with spectators staying away. The full A-Leagues attendances are found below.
The low attendance numbers are an issue for most domestic leagues in Australia, a pattern which is also found elsewhere around the world. APL CEO Danny Townsend addressed the issue and his expectations this week.
A-League Attendance numbers
- A-League matches are recording some of the lowest weekly averages in a decade.
- APL CEO Danny Townsend blames people changing their habits.
- The spectator issue also exists in other domestic leagues in Australia.
More Australian football news can be found on FTBL.
So far for the A-League Men this season, only Round 1 has had an average attendance with five digits, 10,544 to be precise, with the next three rounds averaging 6599, 6534 and 6058 per round respectively. The numbers are worrisome for some followers of the game.
By comparison, excluding last year due to the COVID-19 alterations at the start of the season, in last decade there were only three rounds total in the opening four rounds of play where the attendance dipped below 10000, with the lowest of those averages being 8,946 in Round 3 of 2018-19.
The highest attendance of the 2021-22 campaign has been the Sydney Derby in the first round with 23118 people in attendance. The lowest attendance was Macarthur versus Wellington with 1188 spectators likewise in Round 1.
The A-League Women's averages are more difficult to calculate due to the amount of double headers that they have with the A-League Men. With regards to standalone matches, the average attendance for Rounds 1 and 2 were 1034 and 1370 respectively.
The highest standalone women's match was the Brisbane Roar home match against Perth Glory which drew 2239 spectators with the lowest being Adelaide United versus Canberra United with 780, both taking place in Round 2.
There are a number of non COVID-19 related factors affecting attendances. Sydney FC men's stadium is currently being rebuilt with the club relocating to Jubilee Oval in the interim. Western United have just started work on their new stadium and currently play at four venues.
Macarthur had to relocate their first home match due to issues with the pitch at Campbelltown stadium while Wellington Phoenix are playing all their home matches in New South Wales due to COVID-19 restrictions. Adelaide United have their stadium attendance capped during renovations.
Australian Premier League CEO Danny Townsend addressed the current attendance issues on SEN 1170's Breakfast with Vossy radio show on Wednesday, December 15. When Townsend was questioned about the low attendances in this season's A-League he replied:
"It is obviously something that we are all grappling with at the moment, it is pretty new" said Townsend referring to all sports.
"The one thing we have learned with COVID is it has sort off thrown the playbook out the window. A lot of the effects of it we have yet to really see. I think crowds is one of those.
"If it was an A-League specific problem right now then I would be more concerned. When I talk to my colleagues at Big Bash and other sports everyone is saying the same thing.
"It is habits. People have changed their habits.
"Tentpole sporting activities and events will always drive audience because they are one offs, they are unique.
"But when you are talking about habitual type of commitments which being a member of a football club or being a fan of a BBL team is, you turn up every week and you support your team.
"Those things I think are going to take some time to reset.
"We have got to just work towards delivering a good quality product and continue to put it in front of as many people as we can and have them engage more often.
"Gradually I think we will see the habits that people formed with their families come back to normal as time moves on."
The following are the attendances for the A-League Men's first four rounds of action. Italic indicates a standalone women's match.
Round 1 from Friday, November 19 to Sunday November 21.
Average attendance 10544.
|Fri Nov 19||7:45pm||Melbourne City versus Brisbane Roar||AAMI Park||7213|
|Sat Nov 20||7:45pm||Western Sydney Wanderers versus Sydney FC||CommBank Stadium||23118|
|Sat Nov 20||7:45pm||Western United versus Melbourne Victory||GMHBA Stadium||8120|
|Sat Nov 20||10.05pm||Perth Glory versus Adelaide United||HBF Park||17198|
|Sun Nov 21||4:05pm||Newcastle Jets versus Central Coast Mariners||McDonald Jones||6424|
|Sun Nov 21*||6:45pm*||Macarthur FC versus Wellington Phoenix*||McDonald Jones*||1188*|
*Last minute venue change due to failed pitch inspection at Campbelltown, Stadium.
Round 2 from Friday, November 26 to Sunday, November 28.
Average attendance 6534.
|Fri Nov 26||7:45pm||Western United versus Perth Glory||AAMI Park||3013|
|Sat Nov 27||5:05pm||Wellington Phoenix versus Central Coast Mariners||WIN Stadium||1512|
|Sat Nov 27||7:45pm||Adelaide United versus Melbourne City||Coopers Stadium||7017|
|Sat Nov 27||7:45pm||Sydney FC versus Macarthur FC||Netstrata Jubilee||6632|
|Sun Nov 28||4:05pm||Melbourne Victory versus Brisbane Roar||AAMI Park||13026|
|Sun Nov 28||6:15pm||Western Sydney Wanderers versus Newcastle Jets||CommBank Stadium||8003|
Round 3 (men), Round 1 (women) from Friday, December 3 to Sunday, December 5.
Average for men's matches was 6599 , standalone women was 1034.
|Fri Dec 3*||7:45pm||Wellington Phoenix versus Western Sydney Wanderers||WIN Stadium||1948*|
|Fri Dec 3||7:45pm||Canberra United versus Melbourne City||Viking Park||1237|
|Sat Dec 4||5:05pm||Brisbane Roar versus Adelaide United||Moreton Daily Stadium||6549|
|Sat Dec 4||7:45pm||Melbourne City versus Western United||AAMI Park||7019|
|Sat Dec 4*||7:45pm||Sydney FC versus Newcastle Jets*||Netstrata Jubilee*||6943*|
|Sat Dec 4||10:05pm||Perth Glory versus Brisbane Roar||Macedonia Park||830|
|Sun Dec 5||4:05pm||Macarthur FC versus Central Coast Mariners||BlueBet Stadium||3014|
|Sun Dec 5*||6:45pm||Melbourne Victory versus Perth Glory*||AAMI Park*||14122*|
*Denotes double header with women's match.
Round 4 (men), Round 2 (women) from Wednesday, December 8 to Sunday, December 12.
Average for men's matches was 6059, standalone women was 1370.
|Wed Dec 8||7:45pm||Melbourne City versus Perth Glory||AAMI Park||4081|
|Fri Dec 10*||7:45pm||Newcastle Jets versus Wellington Phoenix*||McDonald Jones Stadium*||6332*|
|Fri Dec 10||7:45pm||Brisbane Roar W versus Perth Glory W||Perry Park||2239|
|Sat Dec 11||5:05pm||Western United versus Brisbane Roar||GMHBA Stadium||2845|
|Sat Dec 11||7:45pm||Adelaide United versus Melbourne Victory||Coopers Stadium||8145|
|Sat Dec 11*||7:45pm||Western Sydney Wanderers versus Macarthur FC*||CommBank Stadium*||8910*|
|Sun Dec 12||4:05pm||Melbourne City W versus Melbourne Victory W||AAMI Park||1092|
|Sun Dec 12||6:15pm||Central Coast Mariners versus Sydney FC||Central Coast Stadium||6037|
|Sun Dec 12||6:15pm||Adelaide United versus Canberra United||Marden Sports Complex||780|
*Denotes double header with women's match.