Dave Smith, look away now!
NRL is officially the little brother of Australian sport.
A study, conducted during the 2013 season, has revealed that Aussie Rules attracts an average attendance of 32,163 people – more than double that of NRL, who only averaged 15,700 spectators.
Long time Sydney Swans fan Tom McGilchrist says it is the quality of the match and the atmosphere created that bring the fans through the turnstiles.
“The quality of AFL has gone ahead leaps and bounds over the years,” he said.
“Young talent is constantly coming through the ranks and doing exciting things and as fans we are treated to a unique opportunity to watch these stars develop live at the game.
“Not to mention the passion of the crowd – naturally the rise in numbers goes hand in hand with the better atmosphere but it’s hard not to get swept up in the electricity these people create,” Tom added.
Meanwhile, the AFL is making inroads on the international stage where it is the fourth most watched game in the world. England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga are third and second respectively, however they are both a far cry from American football which occupies first position with 68,401 people attending the matches.
American student Luke Chapplin spent three years living in Michigan and has experienced first hand the enthusiasm and infatuation of NFL fanatics. “You can watch the Superbowl on TV but you just don’t know anything about passion until you go to a game live,” he said.
“The AFL fans love their team, but these American’s are in love with their team; each match is a matter of life or death.
“The jubilation of a victory and the devastation of a loss are shared equally as much through the players as the crowd.” – Patrick Boddan
Top photo by Daniel Walker.