World Club Challenge attracts its worst attendance since 2000

For many, Saturday delivered something for the first time in their lifetime and that was an English side heading down under and defeating the Australian Champions.

That is exactly what St Helens did as they became World Champions by defeating back-to-back NRL Champions Penrith Panthers.

However, this heavyweight clash didn’t exactly attract the crowd you might expect for such a huge game.

In fact, it was the worst World Club Challenge attendance since 2000 when 12,394 fans watched St Helens take on the Melbourne Storm at the DW Stadium.

This time only 13,873 fans were in attendance at Penrith despite a capacity of 22,500.

It is a very rare instance of the game drawing a crowd of less than 15,000.

The only other time that happened was in 1997 when two Australian sides contested the final in front of 10,000 fans at the end of the closest thing rugby league has had to the Champions League.

The last two teams the game was hosted in Australia, there were 19,062 fans at Melbourne for their clash against Leeds Rhinos and a huge 31,515 supports for Sydney Roosters vs Wigan Warriors in 2014.

From 2010-20 only twice did the attendance drop below 19,000 – 2015 and 2020 as St Helens hosted South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters.

Here’s a list of the last decade’s World Club Challenge attendances:

2020 – 16,108 @ Totally Wicked Stadium
2019 – 21,331 @ DW Stadium
2018 – 19,062 @ AAMI Park (Melbourne)
2017 – 21,011 @ DW Stadium
2016 – 19,778 @ Headingley
2015 – 17,980 @ Langtree Park
2014 – 31,515 @ Allianz Stadium Sydney
2013 – 20,400 @ Headingley
2012 – 21,062 @ Headingley
2011 – 24,268 @ DW Stadium
2010 – 27,697 @ Elland Road

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