Please note that the Japanese names in these posts are written in Japanese order, i.e. Family Name followed by Given Name

Monday, 11 November 2013

Nadeshiko League Attendances in 2013

The overall average attendance for the ninety Nadeshiko League games played in 2013 was 1,865. This represents a decrease of 28% from the 2012 figure of 2,572. The average attendances for the last number of years are as follows:

2013: 1,865
2012: 2,572
2011: 2,796 (before the Women's World Cup: 788; following Japan's victory: 3,800)
2010: 912
2009: 1,067
2008: 1,107
2007: 922
2006: 1,215
2005: 1,114

Thus, while the numbers have declined, this year's figure is still twice that it was in 2010. One major factor in the decline is that the League insisted all games require paid entry. In 2011 fifteen games required no entrance fee, and those had an average attendance of 945.

One large factor is that teams sometimes play home games in other parts of Japan, usually a significant distance from their home city. In 2013 there were eight such games, and their average attendance was 2,772. There were ten such games in 2012, and their average was 4,551. In some cases teams did not play at home per se, but the distance travelled was not significant and these games are ignored for the purposes of these statistics.

In the Nadeshiko League Cup, with teams playing both home and away this season, the average attendance was 1,681 for the group stages, with semi-final attendances of 2,938 and 3,781. The final's attendance was 3,317. The highest attendance was 8,153 for Okayama Yunogo Belle's home game against INAC Kobe Leonessa. These same two teams contested the final. The lowest attendance was 312 for FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme's final home match against JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies.

By way of contrast, the average attendance for the group games in 2012 was 2,462, with semi-final attendances of 2,018 and 2,265. The final match between NTV Beleza and INAC Kobe Leonessa attracted 7,399.

Attendances By Team

INAC Kobe Leonessa had the highest average attendance in 2013, of 4,611. Their highest home attendance was 8,169, which was the home game against Vegalta Sendai Ladies. Victory in that game meant the retention of the title. Their lowest home attendance of 2,503 came in their second home match against Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki. INAC Kobe Leonessa played home games outside of Kobe twice this season. 5,630 attended their game against Albirex Niigata Ladies in Kumamoto, and 4,145 watched their first League defeat in three years to Okayama Yunogo Belle in Aizu-Wakamatsu. Thus their average for games played in Kobe was 4,532. INAC Kobe Leonessa's 2012 average was 6,300, and this year's figure represents a 27% drop.

Okayama Yunogo Belle had an excellent average attendance of 2,498, especially as their home city of Mimasaka is not highly populated. Their highest attendance of 6,006 came against INAC Kobe Leonessa, and their lowest of 1,206 came against Iga FC Kunoichi. They played once outside of Okayama, with 1,325 turning up to watch their victory over NTV Beleza in Tottori. Their average for all home games in Okayama was 2,644. Belle' average in 2012 was 3,403 and they have therefore seen a 27% decrease in 2013.

Vegalta Sendai Ladies had a fine first season in the Nadeshiko League since the closure of TEPCO Mareeze. Their home average was 2,248, with their highest attendance of 4,840 coming in their game against INAC Kobe Leonessa in Miyagi Stadium. Their lowest attendance of 791 was for the match against FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme on a very wet and windy day. Last season Vegalta Sendai Ladies achieved an average of 2,960 in the Challenge League, when entry was free. The highest attendance of 8,658 in 2012 was remarkable, and indeed no match in either division of the Japan Women's Football League this season had such a high attendance. The decline from last season was 24%.

Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies have always enjoyed high and steady attendances over the years, and this year's average of 2,207 is typical. Their best attended game was that against INAC Kobe Leonessa, which attracted 6,875, while only 991 turned up to see the visit of JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies. Their attendance declined by 13% from 2012.

Albirex Niigata Ladies had an average attendance of 1,756, which is a 13% drop from 2012. 8,027 came to see their game against Beleza, which seems extraordinary, but the tickets sold for this game were also for a J-League game, and the average for the team's other eight games is 972. A similar double-header arrangement existed in 2012, when the attendance was 7,863. Niigata's lowest attendance was 512 for the visit of Okayama Yunogo Belle.

NTV Beleza's attendance require special attention. The overall average for all nine games was 1,364, a 68% drop from 2012. Beleza played three games far from home, and the average for the six played in and around Tokyo was only 1,178, a very poor number for the greatest club in Japan's history, playing in one of the world's biggest cities. Their games played far from Tokyo were against Okayama Yunogo Belle in Kochi, which attracted 2,719 and was their season's highest attendance; 1,358 watched them play Vegalta Sendai Ladies in Akita and 1,131 saw them play Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies in Morioka. Their lowest attendance was 833 for their game against Niigata.

Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki's attendances started quite well, but fell sharply as relegation became a stark reality. Their overall average was 1,071, a decline of 56%. Their highest home attendance was 1,867 for the match against Vegalta Sendai Ladies and 525 turned up to see them succumb to a nine-goal hammering from Albirex Niigata Ladies which finally confirmed their relegation to the Challenge League.

Iga FC Kunoichi saw a drop of 30% in their attendances to 1,063, with the highest crowd being that for their game against INAC Kobe Leonessa (2,332, a game played in Nagoya) and the lowest being that for their game against Vegalta Sendai Ladies (529).

JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies' attendances were very poor again this season, with an overall average of 941, a decline of 20% from 2012. However, they played their final match against INAC Kobe Leonessa in Miyazaki, a considerable distance from home. That match's attendance of 3,535 was their highest by a considerable margin, with all of their home games in Chiba Prefecture having fewer than 1,000 spectators. The average for the eight games played in Chiba was 617. Their lowest attendance came against FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme, in a typhoon-delayed game for which the attendance was 239. 

FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme were the only team to increase their spectator numbers, with a 136% increase from their 2012 Challenge League season. Their overall average was 886, with their highest attendance of 1,687 coming twice, once against local rivals Okayama Yunogo Belle and once against champions INAC Kobe Leonessa. Their lowest attendance of 288 came against JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies, a game played a few kilometres over the border in Hiroshima Prefecture.

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