Saturday 18 November 2017

Turning out in our hordes

The one millionth 2010 championship spectator, Sandra Clancy (pictured), from Kerry, clicked through one of Croke Park's turnstiles last Saturday.

That got us thinking about recent big-match attendances in world sport, and, in 2009, the GAA's All-Ireland senior hurling and football finals compared favourably.

The AFL's Grand final tops the list of top 10 domestic club championship events. Behind the AFL Grand final in Australia are the FA Cup and League Cup finals in England and Australia's National Rugby League Grand finals. Some 99,251 spectators watched the AFL showpiece last September and the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton attracted an attendance of 89,391.

Manchester United's 2009 League Cup final victory over Spurs drew 88,217 spectators and next on the list are the football and hurling finals. Kerry's football victory over Cork had an attendance of 82,286, with Kilkenny's hurling success against Tipperary drawing a crowd of 82,106. The hurling and football leagues will have to go a long way to match the seasonal figures for Major League baseball in America and Canada. In 2009, 2,430 matches led to a total attendance of over 73 million fans.

Irish Independent

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