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Wakefield Trinity’s huge crowd cracks top five Championship attendances since 2018


Yesterday, Wakefield Trinity hosted Toulouse Olympique in the Championship with the ambitious Trinity team entering the game as hot favourites. After an impressive 28-12 win, they are now at the top of the table and look set to make good on their openly stated their goal of returning to Super League.

Toulouse Olympique, have struggled to keep pace this season. Last year’s grand-finalists had managed one win from their opening five games.

Before the game, Wakefield announced that they had sold over 7,000 tickets. This outstanding achievement surpassed the highest attendance from the 2023 Championship season. It also marked only the fourth time Wakefield have sold more than 7,000 tickets in the last 10 years.

Highest Championship attendances

Following Wakefield’s bumper crowd, with the help of the stats on Rugby League Project, we look back at the highest Championship attendances since 2018. This includes play-off games, but excludes games at neutral venues. The 2020 season has also been excluded, due to the disruption caused by COVID 19.

2023 – Bradford Bulls v Keighley Cougars – 4,879

Bradford Bulls will welcome Widnes Vikings to Odsal in one of the broadcast games from Round Four. CHampionship

Credit: Imago Images

Last year’s highest regular season came at Odsal, for the Battle of BD. Keighley Cougars had started the season in red hot form. Keighley won the return fixture at Cougar Park 34-6. This game was played in front of a crowd of 4,793.

However, by the time Keighley visited Bradford, their season had come off the rails. Bradford blew the Cougars away, running out 74-12 winners, in front of a gleeful home crowd. Keighley were eventually relegated to League One on the final day of the season. Bradford finished third but were eliminated in the end of season play-offs.

2022 – Leigh Centurions 44 Batley Bulldogs 22 – 7,233

The Leigh Sports Village hosted the largest crowd of the 2022 Championship season. Leigh Centurions secured a return to Super League. They defeated Batley Bulldogs 44-12 in the play-off final.

The Leigh side featured a number of players who are now Super League regulars. Krisnan Inu scored twice, alongside tries from Lachlan Lam, Nene McDonald and Joe Mellor.

The following season, the Leopards lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley.

2021 – Toulouse Olympique 34 Featherstone Rovers 12 (Championship Grand Final) – 9,235

Championship Grand Final 2019

Credit: SWpix

Toulouse secured their promotion to Super League for the 2022 season in front of a packed crowd of 9,235. Olympique met Featherstone at the Stade Ernest Wallon. Toulouse were hoping to become Super League’s second French side.

Toulouse ran out comfortable winners, despite tries from John Davies and Brett Ferres. The final score was 34-12 in the French side’s favour. They were promoted to Super League for the first time.

2019 – Toronto Wolfpack 52 Swinton Lions 10 – 9,562

In hindsight, the Toronto Wolfpack experiment feels like a strange fever dream. However, the Canadian side pulled in some huge crowds in the Championship.

Their Round 12 game against Swinton Lions was the highest attendance of the 2019 season. A 52-10 Wolfpack win was watched by a crowd of 9,562 at the Lamport Stadium.

A star-studded Toronto side, featuring players such as Andy Ackers, Ricky Leutele and Gareth O’Brien, swept to the league title that year.

2018 – Toronto Wolfpack 12 Featherstone Rovers 30 – 8,217

Credit: Swpix

Toronto also hosted the largest crowd of the 2018 season, for the visit of Featherstone Rovers. However, this game also saw the Wolfpack’s first ever home defeat. Featherstone ran out 30-12 winners. They ended Toronto’s 18 match winning run in the Championship in the process.

The Wolfpack ended the Championship season in top spot. But they were unable to secure promotion to Super League in 2018. This was during the Super 8s era, so they went into the end of season round robin with 4 Super League sides.

Salford Red Devils, Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR topped the group of eight. London Broncos defeated Toronto in the Million Pound Game.

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