This season we have seen amazing attendances from Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Hull FC, Warrington Wolves and others.
So much so, Super League seems set for some amazing attendance records which could be sealed in Round 27.
The cumulative attendance of 1,446,052 across the first 26 rounds is already the highest since the change in the competition format in 2019, which involved a significant reduction in the number of fixtures. Another 53,948 when all six Round 27 matches are played on Friday night would break the 1.5m barrier for the first time in five years.
In addition, the current average attendance of 9,270 is the best since 2012 – and only the fifth time the average has surpassed 9,000 in the 28 Super League seasons since 1996. This is already certain to be the fourth highest average attendance the Super League competition has posted in those 28 seasons, and an increase of more than 10% on 2022.
That follows a record-breaking aggregate for a single six-match round back in April, when a total of 83,357 spectators were attracted to the Rivals Round fixtures across the Easter weekend.
Hull KR announced during their last home game of the season against Salford Red Devils last Saturday night that they had averaged 8,770 across their 13 league fixtures at Sewell Group Craven Park in 2023. That is 13% up on 2022, making it not only their highest in the Super League and since they moved to the “new” Craven Park ground in 1989, but even beating the figures they set in winning consecutive Championships in 1984 and 1985.
It has been a similar story for the Leopards, who are currently averaging 6,999 and guaranteed to go well past 7,000 as their last home fixture of the season against Wigan Warriors is already sold out. That means they will beat the club’s record Super League crowd of 9,012, set for their first meeting with Wigan earlier this season, and will also comfortably surpass the average gate of 5,939 they posted at their old Hilton Park ground when they were crowned champions in 1981-2.
Salford Red Devils have also set a new record in 2023, with the crowd of 7,854 for the visit of Wigan Warriors the best they have attracted in 12 seasons since leaving The Willows for the Salford Stadium in 2012 – and their average home crowd from 12 matches of 5,384 representing a 19% improvement on 2022.
Other big increases have been recorded by Catalans Dragons (averaging 9,062, up from 8,068 in 2022), St Helens (averaging 12,671, compared to 11,851 in 2022) and Warrington Wolves (averaging 10,887, an increase of almost 25% on last year’s figure of 8,719).
Wigan Warriors, who go into the last round of fixtures on top of the table on points difference, are also leading the way off the field with an average attendance for 2023 of 13,497, again an impressive 10% increase on their 2022 figure.
And Hull FC have matched Hull KR’s off-field success in a bumper year for Super League in the city, with their average attendance at the MKM Stadium of 12,364, also up 13% on last year, and their highest since 2010.
Wakefield Trinity have had their capacity at the Be Well Support Stadium significantly reduced in 2023 by the redevelopment of the ground, but even with their relegation from Super League confirmed to end 25 consecutive seasons in the competition, they will sign off with the second sell-out of Round 27, for the visit of Hull KR.
Rhodri Jones, Managing Director of RL Commercial, said:
“As we look ahead to a dramatic final round of regular season fixtures, a huge thank you to our fans who have provided such loyal and passionate support in 2023.
“Congratulations to all the clubs who have posted record-breaking crowds throughout the season – it is credit to them for their continued hard work to attract fans and bodes well for a thrilling Play-Off and Grand Final Series.
“Best wishes to all clubs this Friday night with all six Play-Off positions remaining up for grabs – it promises to be a night to remember.”