23 Aug 2023

Fans have voted with their feet with another 24% increase in fan attendance at games in the Sports Direct Premiership this season!

Over 46,000 fans have enjoyed the thrills of live football in both the Premiership and Championship during the opening three weeks of the new campaign and it’s been a memorable start to the new campaign with goals, action and drama in abundance.

The 24.2% increase is measured on the first four rounds of Sports Direct Premiership fixtures is compared to the same period during the previous 2022/2023 season.

The average match attendance in the Premiership is now the highest on record – marking another significant 11% growth from last season, and 103% over the last ten years.

Gerard Lawlor, NI Football League CEO said; “We’re delighted to be announcing a 24% increase of attendances already this season, this is testament to the great work of our team at NIFL and also the clubs who continue to offer affordable, family-friendly entertainment right on our doorsteps.”


“The positivity and buzz around all the leagues within the NI Football League at the moment is really exciting and we’re delighted that so many people are now joining us on this journey which promises to be one of the most memorable seasons yet!”

The excitement around the kick-off of the new campaign was evident across all the clubs, with a 14% improvement in home season opening attendances in the Premiership compared to last season.

The growth is reflected across the leagues, as the Playr-Fit Championship has boasted its highest official attendance on record with 1,080 fans flocking to the North Down derby between Bangor and Ards earlier this month.

In the Sports Direct Women’s Premiership, attendances also continue an upward trend with the landmark 10,000th fan enjoying top-division female football this season - already the highest cumulative figure the league has ever seen!