Britons snapped up tickets for live sporting events at a rate of more than one for every person in the country this year, according to research published today by Deloitte.
Attendances reached 69.8m in 2016 and were only 700,000 down on last year’s figures, despite the lack of a major showpiece event such as the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Football matches remained by far the best attended sport, with 45.2m tickets sold – more than half of which were for fixtures in the Premier League or Championship.
Horse racing and equestrian meetings were the next most popular, contributing total attendances of 7.4m and multi-day events such as Royal Ascot and the Badminton Horse Trials comprising five of the top 10 most attended events.
Wimbledon was again comfortably the biggest draw for British attendees, with 494,000 tickets sold for the two weeks of action, while the ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 also pulled in 252,000.
“Live professional sports attendances of almost 70m means that 2016 has been another hugely successful year for sport in the UK,” said Dan Jones of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
“The fact that the total is so high, despite the absence of hosting any major one-off global events, is a reflection of the UK public’s enduring appetite for watching live sport.”
Most attended annual sports events in the UK 2016
|2||Motor sport||British Grand Prix||327,000||3 days|
|3||Horse racing||Royal Ascot||295,000||5 days|
|4||Horse racing||Cheltenham Festival||261,000||4 days|
|5||Tennis||ATP World Tour Finals||252,000||8 days|
|6||Golf||The Open||173,000||8 days|
|7||Equestrian||Badminton Horse Trials||160,000||5 days|
|8||Motor sport||MotoGP||156,000||3 days|
|9||Equestrian||Burghley Horse Trials||155,000||4 days|
|10||Horse racing||Epsom Derby Festival||154,000||2 days|