Record crowds at League of Ireland

The final Derry City versus Shamrock Rovers game at Tallaght Stadium saw the biggest crowd of a record breaking League of Ireland season in 2022

Nearly 8,000 (7,726) were present to see the Hoop lift the Premier Division title to end a season in which attendances in the top flight have dramatically risen by nearly a third (29%) with an extra 110,660 people attending in 2022 compared to the last full season with crowds before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.

Crowds in the SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division have also risen by 135%, compared to 2019, with an extra 102,205 attendees.

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The popularity of League of Ireland football has been demonstrated across all three divisions, including the Women’s Premier Division which had 23,907 people at games in 2022.

Fans gather at Brandywell Stadium the Saturday morning before the FAI Cup Final to give wish Derry City players and coaches good luck as they depart for Dublin to face Shelbourne. Picture by George Sweeney

With 32,412 people at the Aviva Stadium for Derry City’s FAI Men’s Cup Final win, it has been an unprecedented year.

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Commenting on the rise in attendances, League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon said: “It has been brilliant to see the rise in attendances right across the League of Ireland in almost all clubs for both men’s and women’s leagues.

"With some clubs experiencing modest increases due to capacity restrictions, the figures also tell us a further need for increased investment in League of Ireland grounds.

"Although we are often pleased to see ‘sold out’ signs go up, we know the serious potential we have for attracting new fans and these figures further back that up.

"We must give immense credit to clubs too who are going from strength to strength, engaging with their communities and bringing in bigger fanbases.”