LOI Attendances 2024 - Premier Division climbs, First Division sees slight dip

Shamrock Rovers crowd in Tolka

Shamrock Rovers crowd in Tolka Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)

In the second week of the League of Ireland, a total of 22,540 spectators turned out across nine fixtures, yielding an average attendance of 2,505 per game.

This week saw the Premier Division attracting an average crowd of 3,274, while the First Division saw a lower average of 819 attendees per match.

Comparatively, there was a noticeable decline from the first week, where the Premier Division boasted an average attendance of 4,765, and the First Division experienced a higher average of 2,131 per game.

Despite this week-on-week downturn, the overall attendance figures continue to reflect positively on the Premier Division's appeal.

In a positive turn for the Premier Division, the first ten games of the season have witnessed a 14% surge in attendance figures, rising from 37,655 in 2023 to 43,092 this year.

Conversely, the First Division, with Wexford's figures excluded for consistency, experienced a slight decline of 3.6%, with crowd numbers decreasing from 14,452 in the previous year to 13,928 in 2024.

Shelbourne kicked off their home season at Tolka Park with an excellent display, both on and off the field, welcoming 4,755 fans for a night match against Shamrock Rovers.

A memorable win over the reigning league champions also saw a milestone reached for the club, drawing in 305 more spectators than any home game in 2023, resulting in their largest crowd since 2006.

The previous encounters last season with Shamrock Rovers at Tolka Park had drawn significant crowds of 4,140 and 4,250.

The football fervour continued across the league, with St Patrick’s Athletic witnessing a robust turnout of 5,013 fans as they hosted Bohemians. Last season the visits of Shamrock Rovers and the Gypsies due crowds of between 5,002 and 5,022 so Pats have maintained that attendance level.

Elsewhere, Galway United celebrated an away victory over Dundalk in front of 3,122 spectators, indicating a strong start in attendance figures for Dundalk, which had previously breached the 3,000 mark four times last season.

Another Louth club faced defeat against a recently promoted side as Waterford put four past Drogheda United. 2,059 fans were in attendance, aligning closely with the average crowd numbers Drogheda United attracted last season.

Sligo Rovers, known for their strong start in season attendance, did not disappoint with a turnout of 4,317 at the Showgrounds for their scoreless draw against Derry City, surpassing their best crowd figure from 2023.

The club will hope to maintain and possibly increase fan support throughout the season, countering the trend of decreasing attendance as the season progresses in recent years.

Across the Premier Division, the total attendance for the five games reached 19,266, showing a slight decrease from the first game week's total of 23,826 of the previous season.

However, a closer look reveals that the majority of clubs either improved or matched their best attendance figures from 2023, indicating a strong and sustained interest carrying on from Gameweek 1.

Four First Division games took place with the postponement of Wexford and Longford’s fixture.

The clash between Finn Harps and Cork City led with 2,010 spectators, showcasing significant support for Harps as they aim to maintain high attendance levels throughout the season.

Kerry's hosting of Bray Wanderers at Mounthawk Park saw 520 fans, a commendable number given the adverse weather conditions. The last visit of Bray to Kerry last season dur 590.

UCD had the boost of Premier Division clubs to buoy their attendances last season. Their attendances ranged from 304 to 1,673. Their first time out in the First Division for 2024 saw 377 watch on as Treaty recorded a 1-0 win.

Cobh Ramblers saw between 618 and 1,620 visit their home venue last season but, with the temporary move to Turner’s Cross, they have seen a big impact on their opening night audience.

367 watched their game on Friday night against Athlone Town. That is their second lowest crowd total since after COVID 19 restrictions were lifted.

The First Division experienced a collective attendance of 3,274 spectators, averaging 819 per game. This figure marks a shift from the opening week's total attendance of 10,654, which averaged 2,131 per match, significantly bolstered by a large crowd of 5,507 at Cork City.