Sports and Spectators

Sports Fans

I’m a huge sports fan--it’s part of why I wanted to go a school with a sports culture. I’m particularly big on live sports, because I just love the energy of the crowd and the feeling of people coming together and reacting to the same thing at the same time. For me, seeing a sporting event on TV just isn’t quite the same. Being at so many sporting events in person makes me think about which sports are the biggest and best live experiences. It seems like football has the biggest crowds, but I also know that people like different sports in different places. Experts, what interesting things can you tell me about spectators at sports?

Sports are popular the world over, and in every corner of the globe there are bleachers, stadiums, and arenas built for fans who want to watch the big moments in person. While newspapers, radio, and TV have spread the sports experience beyond the in-person moments it was limited to in ancient times, there are still plenty of us who feel the need to be there in person.

That’s been true for a very long time, which is why ancient stadiums like the Roman Coliseum were built. It may not have the modern amenities we expect of stadiums these days, but the more than 1,900-year-old stadium had an impressive 50,000 person capacity in its day. That’s about the same number of people as can fit in Yankee Stadium!

As big as it was, the Coliseum doesn’t measure up to the biggest stadiums in existence today. The highest-capacity stadium in the world is May Day Stadium in North Korea, which seats 114,000. But the next eight largest are all college football stadiums in the U.S., so your observations about football’s massive attendance are spot-on and have implications well beyond your region. Other huge stadiums host cricket or soccer.

Of course, not all sports have the same sorts of schedules. Football’s once-a-week showdowns make weekend games must-attend events, but a baseball, basketball, or hockey team might play five games or more in a week. For this reason, we have to take a look at more than one type of attendance. For overall season-long attendance, nobody beats baseball: Major League Baseball sees more than 73,000,000  paying customers in a season, a far cry from the 17,000,000+ that the NFL sees--despite the fact that the NFL holds the highest mark for average single-game attendance in the world by a wide margin. And, of course, ticket sales for individual games can be affected by all sorts of factors, say experts who sell Cleveland Indians tickets without additional transaction fees: the opponent, player injuries, the day of the week, and the performance of the team can all affect where the crowds head on a given day.

Of course, crowd size isn’t everything, and there are plenty of other fun facts to celebrate in the world of spectator sports. Fan traditions, superstitions, cheers, and songs are all a part of the rich culture of live sports. From American football tailgating to coordinated cheering in Korean baseball, there’s something unique about every live sporting event the world over.

“Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points.” -- Knute Rockne

UTA Radio on Facebook

Twitter Feed

UTA News