LOI Attendances 2024 - First Division fixture tops attendance charts

February 16th, 2024, Turners Cross, Cork, Ireland - League of Ireland First Division: Cork City FC vs Kerry FC

Cork City topped the attendance charts this week Credit: David Ribeiro (ETPhotos)

Inclement weather disrupted the League of Ireland schedule this weekend, leading to the postponement of four out of ten scheduled matches. Despite this, the six games that proceeded featured an equal distribution of three matches per division.

In a rare event, a First Division match stole the spotlight in terms of attendance. Cork City's narrow 1-0 victory over UCD attracted 3,238 spectators, marking the highest turnout of the week.

This figure, while lower than the 5,507 fans who attended Cork City's season opener against Kerry, remains positive given the adverse weather conditions and UCD's typically smaller fanbase.

Shelbourne's 1-0 triumph over Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds drew the second-highest crowd, with 3,087 fans in attendance.

This compares to the 4,317 spectators who witnessed last week's scoreless draw between Derry City and the home team. The trend of a decrease in attendance after the opening match continues for Sligo Rovers, a pattern observed from previous seasons.

The televised encounter between Derry City and St Patrick’s Athletic managed to attract 3,014 fans, a slight decrease from Derry City's opening weekend attendance of 3,300.

Galway United's 2-1 victory over Waterford was witnessed by 3,011 spectators, a notable drop of over 1,000 from their first home game's audience.

In the First Division, Finn Harps' 2-0 win against Athlone Town saw an attendance of 1,527, down from 2,010 the previous week, yet still a commendable figure relative to most of their 2023 home games.

Meanwhile, Kerry's 1-0 defeat to Treaty United was observed by 720 spectators, an increase from their season opener by 200.

Overall, the week saw 14,597 fans attend the reduced slate of matches, with the Premier Division drawing 9,112 and the First Division 5,485.

The average attendance in the Premier was 3,037, a decrease from the first two weeks, while the First Division averaged 1,828, slightly below the opening week but significantly higher than the second.

Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers home games would have undoubtedly driven up the average but without their numbers in Gameweek 1, that week’s average would still be an impressive 3,928.

Despite the drop in numbers, the overall attendance remains solid. However, with Monday fixtures on the horizon, traditionally associated with lower attendances, clubs will be keen to maintain their early-season momentum and buck the trend of lower Monday gates.