The Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season has started with a bang, setting a single round attendance record with 106,365 people pouring through the turnstiles across the five matches in Brisbane, Wellington, Sydney, Perth and Newcastle over the weekend.
The new mark for a regular season round overtook the previous record which came in Round 2 of 2014/15 when a total of 106,082 people attended matches in Adelaide, Gosford, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Saturday night’s Sydney Derby at ANZ Stadium attracted a single match attendance record of 61,880 with strong crowds also turning out at the other four opening round matches.
The total also broke the record for the highest Round 1 aggregate crowd in the 12 seasons of the competition, beating the previous best Round 1 total of 100,998 for the opening weekend of the 2013/14 season.
Significantly, the new attendance feats came despite the fact Caltex Socceroos striker Tim Cahill missed Melbourne City FC’s 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix due to international duty.
Cahill’s Hyundai A-League debut is set to come on Saturday night in the cauldron of the Melbourne Derby when Melbourne City FC and Melbourne Victory do battle at Etihad Stadium.
“The Hyundai A-League has started with a flurry and we are thrilled to have set a new single round attendance record to go with the record crowd at the Sydney Derby. To see 106,365 people attend across the five matches is a tremendous start to the 2016/17 season,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
“Starting the season with big numbers is a terrific result and we’ve seen local and foreign signings already make an impact on the pitch.
“We had significant momentum leading into the opening round and much of it has been through the host of new players in the competition but the appeal and positivity around this season’s marketing campaign of ‘you’ve gotta have a team’, has also really resonated with people.
“The interest is certain to carry into Round 2 with Tim Cahill’s first match in the Hyundai A-League for Melbourne City FC to be the Melbourne Derby and you couldn’t really get a bigger stage for Australia’s greatest ever Socceroo to make his introduction to the league.”
Round 2 kicks off with a Grand Final rematch between Adelaide United and Western Sydney Wanderers FC at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
Crowd figures for opening round:
Friday Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory 15,805
Saturday Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City 10,034
Saturday Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC 61,880 – a new single match crowd record
Saturday Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners 9,501
Sunday Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United 9,145