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    Sport: the world’s common currency

    Going to watch elite sports 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 business stream.

    In our global sporting attendance infographic, we show the number of people in the world who attended a sports event in 2019 – 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 sports event; that means any sports 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 sports.

    To create this infographic, we used insight from our database of sports attendances and fixtures – the biggest in the sports industry – and understanding of what impacts attendances in professional sports from our work driving game-day revenue growth, to model attendances in 197 countries.

    In 2019, the most attended sports day of the year was Saturday August 10th – when just under 10m fans went through the turnstiles at ticketed sports events across the globe. Soccer is the biggest ticketed sports 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 soccer to be played in Europe.

    In an average sports week in 2019, 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.


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