Irish Premiership: Record crowds for start of 2017/18 season

The league opener between Ballymena and Crusaders set the ball rolling for high attendances
The league opener between Ballymena and Crusaders set the ball rolling for high attendances

Fans are flocking back to watch local football with the Irish Premiership attracting record attendances for the start of the 2017/18 season.

Twenty of the 47 games have enjoyed a highest recorded crowd for the specific match since top-flight attendances were first published 10 seasons ago.

Over 50,000 spectators have gone through the gates with an average of 1,106 per game.

The average crowd has grown almost 30% since the 2008/09 season.

There is a 3% increase in average attendances from last season after the first eight rounds of fixtures.

"We started the season back in August with a record crowd for a Ballymena United v Crusaders game and the trend has continued right up until last Saturday when Glentoran hosted a record crowd for a Coleraine game," said NIFL managing director Andrew Johnston.

"It's been fantastic to see and it's noticeable the rise in numbers when we're at the games, it adds to the fantastic atmosphere within the Danske Bank Premiership.

"Credit must go to the clubs for all their hard work in their initiatives to encourage the fans back, so I'd certainly recommend that if anyone hasn't been to one of our games before - there is no better time to start."