League of Ireland Attendances 2023 – Gameweek 5

Fans during the UCD v Drogheda United match

Fans during the UCD v Drogheda United match Credit: John Crothers (ETPhotos)

This weekend's League of Ireland football matches drew a total of 21,825 spectators, resulting in an average attendance of 2,183. This is the lowest average Gameweek attendance of the 2023 season so far.

In Gameweek 1, the average attendance was 3,022, dropping to 2,397 in Gameweek 2. The average attendance recovered to 2,879 for Gameweek 3, and remained steady for the Premier Division-only Gameweek 4 at 2,813.

Although many clubs have managed to maintain or increase their attendance numbers week-on-week this season, it's important to note that in previous weeks, only one or two teams had attendance figures below 1,000. However, in the most recent round of games, four teams had attendances below this number. Even though this isn’t unusual for these clubs, it is the first Gameweek they all had home games.

It's worth considering that the high attendance figures in Gameweek 1 were helped by Cork City playing at home, compared to a team like UCD in this most recent Gameweek. The difference in attendance between these two teams alone is 6,000, which would push this Gameweek's attendance figures back up to the levels seen in Gameweeks 3 and 4.

Therefore, while the overall total may be down, it doesn't necessarily reflect negative trends in league attendances. The trends for most clubs is still very positive.

St. Patrick's Athletic may not have had the start they were hoping for, but their attendance numbers have remained consistent despite their form. They began the season with 4,789 attendees, followed by 4,930, and this week, they recorded the largest attendance of the Gameweek with 5,002. The Inchicore club has made significant strides in improving their gate numbers year-on-year. In fact, it only took three games in 2023 to reach 14,721 spectators at Richmond Park, whereas in 2018, it took nine games to surpass the same total.

On Friday evening, Shelbourne hosted current champions Shamrock Rovers at Tolka Park and managed to secure a scoreless draw. Like St. Patrick's Athletic, Shelbourne has also seen an improvement in their gate numbers each week. Their attendance numbers have strong from 3,424 during their match against Drogheda United to 4,250 during the back-to-back Dublin derbies against Bohemians. Most recently, their match against the Hoops saw a turnout with 4,140 attendees. The capacity for their away section is 850.

Continuing with the trend this Gameweek, Derry City has seen an increase in attendance numbers. While having only played one home game thus far, they managed to surpass their initial offering of 3,305 attendees during their match against Cork City with a turnout of 3,550 for their recent scoreless draw against Dundalk.

On Saturday, Sligo Rovers and Cork City faced each other in the only game of the day, and their 2-2 draw was witnessed by 3,178 spectators. Although this attendance is lower than their opening game's attendance of 4,248, it is an improvement from their Monday night game, which had 2,751 spectators in attendance.

Galway United currently have a 100% record in the First Division, and their opening attendance numbers matched their success with 2,304 attendees during their game against Treaty United. In their recent match against new side Kerry, 1,870 spectators witnessed the Tribesman secure a dominant 9-1 victory.

Finn Harps secured their second point of the league campaign after a 0-0 draw against Wexford. Their season began with an attendance of 2,517 during their match against Galway United, which dropped to 1,582 for the following game against Bray Wanderers. In their most recent game, their attendance was slightly lower at 1,401. The variation in crowd numbers could be attributed to differences in travelling support.

This week, Athlone Town lost 1-0 to Waterford in front of a crowd of 763 spectators. In Gameweek 2, Athlone's attendance reached 592, which we previously noted was their highest attendance compared to last year's figures. However, their most recent attendance has surpassed that number, indicating a positive trend for the club.

Treaty United began the season with an attendance of 919, but their second home fixture saw a decrease with 762 spectators watching on as Cobh Ramblers secured a 3-0 victory at Markets Field. Bray Wanderers also experienced a decrease in attendance, dropping from 1,300 during their opening fixture to 733 for their recent 0-0 draw against Longford.

UCD's match against Drogheda United had the lowest attendance of the week, with only 426 spectators present. However, this number is slightly higher than their Monday night attendance of 406 when Derry City visited.

Gameweek 5 Attendances

Home TeamAway TeamAttendance
Pats Bohs 5,002
Shels Shamrock R 4,140
Derry Dundalk 3,550
Sligo R Cork 3,178
Galway Kerry 1,870
Harps Wexford 1,401
Athlone Waterford 763
Treaty Cobh 762
Bray Longford 733
UCD Drogheda 426
 Average Overall 2,183
 Average Premier 3,454
 Average First 911


* Article has been edited since first written to adjust for the change in Shelbourne's official tally