Stadiums and teams attracting the highest attendance on opening day across Europe’s top 5 leagues

Some of the European leagues began a week earlier than others, but now they are all under way. There were some interesting results and new faces, but our latest study is about the fans in the stands. In order to conduct this SportingPedia report we collected data about the attendance on the opening day across the top 5 European leagues to see where fans were most eager to see how their favorite teams begin the new season. Some, like the Premier League, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga kicked-off а week earlier than Serie A and La Liga, but now we have added up all the necessary numbers.

Key Takeaways

  • On the first day of the Premier League, only 1.5%, or 6,254 of all available seats across the 10 venues, remained empty
  • When compared to the other top 5 leagues in Europe, English fans were the most impatient, with a total of 421,273 flocking around the 10 grounds on opening weekend
  • On opening weekend, the average occupancy across the stadiums of Europe’s top five leagues was calculated to be 84.5%
  • The Premier League drew the most interest, selling 98.5% of all available seats; the Bundesliga came in second with 95%, and Ligue 1 rounded out the top three with 78.8%
  • Only 4 arenas were completely sold out, with all four located in Germany
  • Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Milan, and Barcelona attracted the largest crowds in each league during the opening weekend
  • Serie A stadiums had the lowest occupancy rate, with just over 70% of their capacity filled
  • In total, 1,683,340 fans attended the first-round games in England, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy’s top divisions
  • Spezia was the only team unable to gather at least 10,000 fans in their debut game
  • Montpellier, Celta Vigo, and Verona were the only teams that did not sell out at least half of their stadiums’ capacity on opening day

Premier League

The Premier League was the hardest of Europe’s top five leagues in terms of finding available tickets for the opening matches. A total of 421,273 people attended the ten 1st round games of the top English division. When West Ham hosted the defending champions Manchester City on August 7th in London, there were only 57 vacant seats, an indicator of how eager the Hammers’ supporters were to watch their team in action. The largest audience, 73,711, went to watch Manchester United in Eric Ten Hag’s debut game in charge of the Red Devils at Old Trafford. However they departed the stadium in shock after Cristiano Ronaldo and company were defeated 1:2. Newcastle, Tottenham, Everton, and Fulham were the teams that performed a commendable job at marketing and distributing tickets, as each of their venues was full to more than 99% of capacity. The Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, which was 88.3% full, had the lowest occupancy rate in the opening round of the Premier League.

Host
Visitor
Stadium
Capacity
Attendance
Occupancy

West Ham

Manchester City

London Stadium
62,500
62,443
99.9%

Newcastle

Nottingham Forest

St. James' Park
52,338
52,245
99.8%

Tottenham

Southampton

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
62,062
61,732
99.5%

Everton

Chelsea

Goodison Park
39,571
39,254
99.2%

Fulham

Liverpool

Craven Cottage
22,384
22,207
99.2%

Leicester

Brentford

King Power Stadium
32,273
31,794
98.5%

Manchester United

Brighton

Old Trafford
74,879
73,711
98.4%

Crystal Palace

Arsenal

Selhurst Park
26,047
25,286
97.1%

Leeds

Wolverhampton

Elland Road
37,890
36,347
95.9%

Bournemouth

Aston Villa

Vitality Stadium
11,329
10,000
88.3%

Bundesliga

According to our study, the German Bundesliga comes in 2nd place, after drawing 377,971 spectators to the nine stadiums for its first matches. Augsburg registered the lowest level of fan interest, with their WWK ARENA filling only 82.6% of its capacity. Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund, FC Koln, and Union Berlin were the only teams not only in Germany, but across Europe’s top five leagues, to completely sell out their stadiums for the first round of games. BVB took full advantage of having the country’s largest venue and can be proud that the famous “Yellow Wall” at Signal Iduna Park drew 81,365 fans – the largest crowd in Europe.

Host
Visitor
Stadium
Capacity
Attendance
Occupancy

Borussia Dortmund

Bayer Leverkusen

Signal Iduna Park
81,365
81,365
100.0%

Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern Munich

Deutsche Bank Park
51,500
51,500
100.0%

FC Koln

Schalke

RheinEnergieStadion
50,000
50,000
100.0%

Union Berlin

Hertha Berlin

Stadion An der Alten Forsterei
22,012
22,012
100.0%

Wolfsburg

Werder Bremen

Vokswagen Arena
30,000
28,015
93.4%

Borussia Monchengladbach

Hoffeheim

Borussia-Park
54,057
49,659
91.9%

Stuttgart

RB Leipzig

Mercedes-Benz Arena
50,571
46,000
91.0%

Bochum

Mainz

Vonovia Rurhstadion
27,599
24,110
87.4%

Augsburg

Freiburg

WWK ARENA
30,660
25,310
82.6%

Ligue 1

In terms of average occupancy, the French Ligue 1 rounds out our top three. The stadiums were visited by 290,870 people, which is 78.8% of their maximum capacity. Strasbourg was the only team to sell more than 95% of their arena’s 26,109 seats, while Marseille’s match against Reims drew the largest crowd, with 62,738 in attendance. After a disappointing last campaign, the fans of Montpellier showed their dissatisfaction and filled Stade de la Mosson to just 36.4% of its potential for the game against Troyes. This was the only match of Ligue 1’s opening weekend to see the venue not filled to at least 50% of its potential and recorded the lowest occupancy across all 49 sides featured in the report.

Host
Visitor
Stadium
Capacity
Attendance
Occupancy

Strasbourg

Monaco

Stade de la Meinau
26,109
25,359
97.1%

Lens

Brest

Stade Bollaert-Delelis
38,223
37,015
96.8%

Rennes

Lorient

Roazhon Park
29,788
28,177
94.6%

Clermont Foot

PSG

Stade Gabriel Montpied
13,000
12,203
93.9%

Marseille

Reims

Stade Velodrome
67,394
62,738
93.1%

Lyon

Ajaccio

Parc Olympique Lyonnais
59,186
48,516
82.0%

Lille

Auxerre

Stade Pierre-Mauroy
50,186
32,292
64.3%

Toulouse

Nice

Stade Municipal
33,150
20,567
62.0%

Angers

Nantes

Stade Raymond-Kopa
19,350
12,000
62.0%

Montpellier

Troyes

Stade de la Mosson
32,939
12,003
36.4%

La Liga

The next stop is down south in Spain, where we have the 4th highest level of interest among football betting fans. The stadiums hosting the first round of La Liga games were filled to an average of 77.2% of their capacities. After a turbulent summer transfer window in which Barcelona landed the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Raphina among others, their fans were understandably eager to see how president Laporta’s new project will kick-off. 81,104 Culers gathered at Camp Nou, only to leave disappointed as Barca were held to a boring goalless draw by the visiting Rayo Vallecano. It was Celta Vigo who registered the lowest occupancy in Spain, with 47.8% of Estadio de Balaidos filled, or 13,859 in attendance. Almeria sold out 94.19% of their stadium for opening day, the highest of any La Liga team. Aside from their fans wanting to see the team in its return to the elite division, another factor was that the visiting team was none other than Real Madrid, the reigning Spanish and European Champions.

Host
Visitor
Stadium
Capacity
Attendance
Occupancy

Almeria

Real Madrid

Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos
15,274
14,386
94.19%

Betis

Elche

Estadio Benito Vilamarin
59,378
50,622
85.25%

Barcelona

Rayo Vallecano

Camp Nou
99,354
81,104
81.63%

Valencia

Girona

Estadio de Mestalla
48,600
39,359
80.99%

Osasuna

Sevilla

El Sadar
23,576
18,536
78.62%

Cadiz

Real Sociedad

Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla
21,094
16,570
78.55%

Athletic Bilbao

Mallorca

Estadio San Mames
53,289
39,747
74.59%

Getafe

Atletico Madrid

Coliseum Alfonso Perez
16,800
12,235
72.83%

Valladolid

Villarreal

Estadio Jose Zorrilla
27,618
17,543
63.52%

Celta Vigo

Espanyol

Estadio de Balaidos
29,000
13,859
47.79%

Serie A

The new Serie A season started just two weeks ago. According to the attendance ratings, the Italians were the least impressed with the new football campaign.The average occupancy registered across the ten stadiums on opening day was just under 73% – the lowest across all of Europe’s top five leagues. The largest crowd was found at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, where 70,197 people gathered to watch Milan begin their title defense with an entertaining 4:2 victory over Udinese. It means that 92.46% of the capacity of Italy’s largest stadium was filled, but Juventus enjoyed the highest occupancy on the first day of Serie A, with 93.3% of their Allianz Stadium sold out. Verona recorded the lowest rating, with only 43.3% of the seats available at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi distributited for the match with Napoli. Spezia was the only team of Europe’s top five leagues that failed to draw at least 10,000 fans, with only 8,360 people in attendance for the slender 1:0 win over Empoli.

Host
Visitor
Stadium
Capacity
Attendance
Occupancy

Juventus

Sassuolo

Allianz Stadium
41,507
38,725
93.30%

Milan

Udinese

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
75,923
70,197
92.46%

Salernitana

Roma

Stadio Arechi
29,739
26,006
87.45%

Lecce

Inter

Stadio Ettore Giardiniero
31,559
25,353
80.34%

Fiorentina

Cremonese

Stadio Artemio Franchi
47,282
34,461
72.88%

Spezia

Empoli

Stadio Alberto Picco
11,512
8,360
72.62%

Lazio

Bologna

Stadio Olimpico
73,261
44,664
60.97%

Monza

Torino

Stadio Brianteo
18,568
10,739
57.84%

Sampdoria

Atalanta

Stadio Luigi Ferraris
36,348
20,047
55.15%

Verona

Napoli

Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi
39,211
16,967
43.27%