The English Premiership followed, the 12-team competition was played across 132 regular season matches and 3 post-season games over the 2018-19 season. The English Premiership achieved a total attendance of 1,956,443 to rank third overall of all analysed properties and second overall of the 2018-19 season properties. The English Premiership comprised 20.6 per of the 9,032,827 total regular season attendances. The 2018-19 season represented a second season of declining attendances for the English Premiership after achieving a record attendance of 2,081,353 during the 2016-17 season.
Regular and post season attendance in 2019 & 2018 (selected competitions)
The NRL Premiership saw its average attendances grow once again in 2018 to 15,260 across its 192 games, while the Super League, the top-tier English rugby league competition, secured average attendances of 8,542 in 2018, which was considerably lower than its domestic rugby union counterpart.
Regular season attendances year-on-year comparison
Of the five selected 2019 club and international rugby competitions, regular season attendances marginally declined by 0.7 per cent during 2019.
The European Rugby Challenge Cup, the second-tier continental championship, grew its attendance by 15.74 per cent compared to 2018. While its top-tier equivalent, the European Rugby Champions Cup, saw its attendances increase by 2.24 per cent.
The Pro 14 saw the largest decline in regular season attendances with 70,770 fewer spectators contributing to a 5.90 per cent decline in attendance compared to 2018. The English Premiership also saw a small decline with 22,128 less spectators across its 132 regular season games compared to 2018.
Regular competition attendances year-on-year comparison
Comparing the 2018 club and international competition data to 2017, spectator attendances also declined by 4.59 per cent. Although, two of the four analysed competitions saw an attendance increase compared to the previous year.
The Rugby Championship, which is competed by international teams from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa saw an additional 44,693 spectators attend matches resulting in a 12.13 per cent increase on the 2017 edition.
Growth / decline in regular season attendances of rugby competitions 2019 versus 2018
In 2018, Super Rugby saw the largest decline in attendances compared to the previous season of all rugby properties analysed. The league recorded a 20.81 per cent reduction in attendances. However, at the start of the 2018 season SANZAAR, the governing body for Super Rugby, reduced the number of competing teams from 18 to 15 due to a lack of competitiveness in a number of matches. Further analysis of Super Rugby attendances will be needed following the final of the 2019 season to understand if Super Rugby is growing its regular season attendances.
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