Spring is in the air and League of Ireland soccer is getting ready to kick-off once again. With three sellouts likely in the first ten days and exceptional presales through the clubs powered by Future Ticketing we believe with a fair wind, the SSE Airtricity League can attract an attendance in excess of 500,000 in 2019.
Delving into the numbers shows that the underlying support base for the League remains robust. Last year, attendances grew by 2.5% to 441,466. In the two years since Future Ticketing first got involved with clubs overall ticket sales have risen by over 97,000 or up by 28% according to an excellent piece of analysis conducted by extratime.ie.
This analysis shows particularly good performances from Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers Waterford United, St. Pats and Bohemians where quality on the field and committed dynamic leadership off the field have driven increases in ticket sales. With both Dundalk V Sligo Rovers and Waterford V Shamrock Rovers looking close to selling out tomorrow night and the Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers match next week sure to sell out the upward trend is set to continue.
With the likes of Seamus Coleman, James McClean, David Meyler, Stephen Ward, Graham Burke, Darryl Horgan and Shane Long – all of whom starred in the League –plying their trades across the water there is much evidence to support the thesis that standards in the League have risen significantly in recent decades. Greater progress in European competitions and improved UEFA coefficient has also raised the profile the game in Ireland and overseas.
Set against the backdrop of an economy that is set to grow by circa 4% in 2019 and with a rising population and no major international football tournament this summer, the optimists among us will be hoping that the 500,000 threshold is breached in due course.
At Future Ticketing, we are honoured to partner with eight of the premier league clubs as they seek to grow their fan base and drive attendances at their home games.
As the League gets underway, we take a particular pride that Future Ticketing’s advanced digital box office will facilitate ticket sales at all five opening SSE Airtricity Leagues games involving St. Pats V Cork City, Bohemians v Finn Harps, Derry City v UCD, Dundalk v Sligo Rovers and Waterford United v Shamrock Rovers.
As official ticketing partner, we get to shout for multiple teams as the season progresses. From everyone at Future Ticketing, we wish you well in 2019 both on and off the pitch and especially as you seek to drive up attendances and promote the sport.