New Delhi: A staggering one million fans have so far thronged stadia across the country to watch the ongoing Hero Indian Super League, as India's most-watched football tournament sets yet another benchmark in its inaugural season, according to the organisers.
The average match attendance recorded by Hero ISL since its inaugural tie on October 12 till yesterday's match between FC Goa and Kerala Blasters (watched by at 24,357) reinforces its position as the highest across the whole of Asia. The ISL makes it mark against major global leagues and has surpassed Italy's Serie A in average attendance to become the fourth best in world football.
The league now trails only Germany's Bundesliga, the Barclays Premier League and Spain's La Liga in terms of average attendance, a press release said. The ISL kicked off with 65,000 people attending the opening game between Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC on October 12, while a crowd of over 49,000 turned up on November
6 to watch the Kerala Blasters FC vs FC Goa game in Kochi.
That number swelled to a full capacity stadium with over 57,000 attending the Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata game, surpassing expectations and serving up an electric atmosphere inside the ground. This feat was repeated again last night with another full-house at Fatorda stadium, Goa having 19,752 fans in attendance, which brought the Hero ISL cumulative attendance figure to 9 lakh 98 thousand just 2,000 short of the one million mark.
With today's Match No 42 scheduled at Guwahati between NorthEast United FC Vs Chennaiyin FC, ISL is set to surpass the mark of hosting one million live fans. The crowd numbers seen at Hero ISL matches is testament to the sustained popularity of the League which continues to pull in ever-greater crowds past its halfway mark.
The league's ambitious broadcast plan, with the ISL telecast live across eight channels in five languages, is another major factor in driving crowd attendance. The ISL is already the most watched non-cricketing sport in India with 364 million viewers tuning in to catch the action live on their TV sets. The League has also dominated
social media trends notching up over 7.7 billion impressions on Facebook and Twitter.