The 2011-12 A-League campaign has seen a new record aggregate season attendance along with the best game average crowds since the competition expanded three years ago.
Following the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday, Football Federation Australia (FFA) released a statement looking at the positive figures for the A-League which was buoyed by the return of Socceroos duo Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton for the 2011-12 season.
A total number of 1,416,157 fans went through A-League turnstiles in the 2011-12 campaign, bettering the previous mark of 1,393,933 set in 2010-11. There were 30 less matches in the 2011-12 compared to the previous term.
Major attendance increases in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle and Wellington also contributed to the average crowd figure rising to 10,490.
That average attendance figure was the best the A-League has seen since it moved from being an eight-team competition ahead of the 2009-10 season.
The 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons saw season averages of 9,831 and 8,393 respectively, so the positive upturn was greeted by A-League chief Lyall Gorman.
“The on field action has been watched by more people proving that football has a growing footprint in this country," Gorman said in the FFA statement.
“This season has witnessed the A-League gain hugely significant boosts in ratings, memberships and attendances and the fact that more people have attended matches this season, with 30 less matches being played, is testament to the league’s potential and the work taking place in clubs, communities and regions across Australia and New Zealand.”
The big improvers were Brisbane, buoyed by their title success in 2010-11, with average attendances up more than 4,000 per game.
Sydney and Newcastle recorded similar improvements, while Kewell's Victory saw average attendances go up from 15,234 to 20,281 despite an ordinary season on the field.
Adelaide United had the biggest decrease, with average crowds down almost by 3,000 as they struggled from third place in 2010-11 down to second-last in 2011-12.