Sport: the world’s common currency
Wherever you are in the world, from the metropolitan hotbeds of activity to the sparsely-populated outposts hours away from the nearest source of power, one thing’s for sure: you’re never going to be too far away from someone who loves sport.
Going to watch elite sport live – athletes at the top of their game at stadiums, tracks or courts up and down the country, or even further afield – is an experience that’s hard to beat for a large proportion of people across the world. And it’s an experience that, even in an age of immersive broadcasting beamed to the palm of your hand, still provides rights-holders with a key commercial revenue stream.
In our global sporting attendance infographic, we show the number of people in the world who attended a sporting event this day last year – in real-time. It’s worth noting our definition of “attendance”, however, which is the amount of people who have gone to a ticketed professional sporting event; that means any sporting event a fan can attend without a ticket is not counted, including mass elite participation events such as cycling tours or marathons, or any recreational sport.
To create this infographic, we used insight from our database of sporting attendances and fixtures – the biggest in the sports industry – and understanding of what impacts attendances in professional sport from our work driving event-day revenue growth, to model attendances in 197 countries.
In 2018, the most attended sports day of the year was Saturday August 18th – when just under 10m fans went through the turnstiles at ticketed sporting events across the globe. Football is the biggest ticketed sporting event in Europe, and mid-August marks the start of the new season for most leagues, while the majority of “summer” sports are still in full-swing. Saturdays are also the traditional day for football to be played in Europe.
In an average sporting week in 2018, meanwhile, sports events across the world attracted cumulative attendances of 42 million – that’s more than the entire populations of Portugal, Ecuador, New Zealand and the UAE combined.