09 May 2023
© Pacemaker

The NI Football League are delighted to report another 10% increase on Premiership attendances for the 2022/23 season.

In another record-breaking season over 360,000 fans attended Premiership games during the 2022/23 campaign as Larne made history by claiming the title for the first time in their history, the highest total since league attendances have been formally recorded from 2008.

In addition to league attendances the NI Football League once again hosted the largest attended domestic match in Northern Ireland for the 2022/23 season with 11,038 turning out for the BetMcLean Cup Final showpiece as Linfield defeated Coleraine in March 2023.

On average 1,587 fans attended each match in the top division, marking an 92% increase in 10 years. This season, the highest attended league game attracted 7,134 to the Belfast derby between Linfield and Glentoran in October 2022.

Eleven of the twelve Premiership clubs marked an increase in attendances from the 2021/22 campaign with Coleraine (+21%), Carrick Rangers (+16%) and Glentoran (+15%) making sizeable growth off the pitch.


Gerard Lawlor, NI Football League Chief Executive said: “This has been another truly memorable season on the pitch, and I’m delighted that our supporters have responded in their numbers to play their part in the colour, noise and special atmosphere of our game.”

“Our league continues to grow and not only attract new fans and re-ignite the passion in old fans. I want to praise and commend our clubs who have raised to the challenge of progression and thank every single supporter who has joined us on this journey this season.”

With crowds on the rise, games in the NI Football League continue to now sell out quicker than ever with full houses adding the unique atmosphere of Premiership games, both Cliftonville (76%) and Larne (72%) offered the highest average stadium occupancy this season.

The increase in crowds is not limited to the men’s game as the start of the new Sports Direct Women’s Premiership last month has already attracted record figures. 3,500 fans have watched games across the new-look ten-team league with the average attendance growing by 69% to an average of 237 fans for each game.