A record opening day crowd was at The Oval on Saturday for Glentoran v Cliftonville (c) Presseye


It was a record breaking opening weekend in the Danske Bank Premiership with almost 9,000 fans flowing through the turnstiles to the first series of games.

The excitement of the build up to the new season has caught the imaginations of the local fans, with the total 8,960 across the six fixtures, surpassing the previous opening day record total of 6,384 (season 2017/18) by 2,576 spectators.

Saturday’s game at The Oval between Glentoran and Cliftonville also attracted a record opening day crowd over the ten-year period since attendances have been recorded, with 2,920 in attendance to witness Jay Donnelly’s last-minute winner for the Reds.

NI Football League Managing Director Andrew Johnston is delighted, “The start of the new Premiership season always creates a buzz of excitement and optimism, but this year we sensed something special has captured the public imagination.”

“The end of last season was incredible, and we know this season could potentially match that again, we would encourage everyone to come out and take in a game at your local club this season.”

The Danske Bank Premiership continues this weekend with six more top games split across Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

Opening Weekend Attendances

Saturday 4 August
Coleraine v Warrenpoint Town - 912
Dungannon Swifts v Ballymena United - 878
Glenavon v Linfield - 2,584
Glentoran v Cliftonville – 2,920
Institute v Newry City - 450

Monday 6 August
Crusaders v Ards – 1,216


Previous Opening Weekend totals: 2017/18 – 6,384; 2016/17 – 5,799; 2015/16 – 5,627; 2014/15 – 5616; 2013/14 – 5,361; 2012/13 – 5,329; 2011/12 – 6,020; 2010/11 – 4,994; 2009/10 – 5,634.

Highest previous opening attendance: 2011/12 – Crusaders v Glentoran (2,427)