Attendance Facts and Figures from the 2018 Men’s World Championships

  0 Braden Keith | September 19th, 2018 | News

The two shiniest stadiums of the preliminary rounds of the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championships, which not-coincidentally included the two co-hosts of the tournament, drew the biggest crowds of the first week.

Pool A, which began in the Foro Italico in Rome for the ceremonial opening match and then moved to the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, averaged 4,518 spectators to lead all pools. Even with the opening match in the Foro Italico removed from the math, there were still an average of 4,043 spectators at the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence for the last 14 matches in the pool.

Matches involving the host team from Italy drew a whopping 8,030 fans to the Forum (8,815 overall including the Foro Italico), which is actually 7% over the venue’s listed capacity.

The Bulgarian co-hosts only drew 4,365 to the Palace of Culture and Sports in Varna, which is about 73% of its listed capacity. Bulgarian fans have been displeased with the cost of ticket prices for international matches in the country, and Bulgaria went just 3-2 as they continued to battle injuries.

Overall, the host numbers are similar to those in Poland in 2014 (excluding the 61,500 who showed up at the Warsaw National Stadium for the opening 3-0 win over Poland), while the non-host numbers are a little lower than 2014.

The two arenas with the most public complaints from participants, Ruse and Bari, which were also the two arenas without hosts, struggled to drawn fans. They drew less than even Pools A and D when host teams were withdrawn from the data.

More summary charts and tables are below:

Host Arena Capacity Average Attendance Avg. Attendance Without Host Teams Total Attendance
Pool A Rome/Florence, Italy 11,000/7,500 4518 2955 67770
Pool B Ruse, Bulgaria 5,100 1686 1686 25303
Pool C Bari, Italy 5,080 1866 1866 28000
Pool D Varna, Bulgaria 6,000 2825 2015 42380

Generally, late games in double-headers did better than early games in attendance.

Host Early Games Late Games
Pool A Rome/Florence, Italy 3007 5078
Pool B Ruse, Bulgaria 1,014 2500
Pool C Bari, Italy 1,646 2182
Pool D Varna, Bulgaria 1,431 3930

Japan as a visiting team actually drew more fans than Bulgaria as a host. The 11,700 against Italy helps bring up the averages, but in 2 of their other 3 matches they did pretty well too: 2,813 against the Dominican Republic, and 6,125 against Argentina in the match for the last spot in the finals.

Among group winners, the United States drew the smallest crowds, at just 2,360 per match. Other group winners were Italy (8,552), Poland (3,478), and Brazil (2,651).

Country Total Attendance Average Attendance
Italy 42,760 8,552
Japan 25,086 5,017
Bulgaria 22,390 4,478
Belgium 19,720 3,944
Argentina 18,344 3,669
Poland 17,390 3,478
Slovenia 17,048 3,410
Finland 14,540 2,908
Serbia 14,275 2,855
Brazil 13,253 2,651
Dominican Republic 12,582 2,516
United States 11,800 2,360
Iran 11,790 2,358
Cuba 11,620 2,324
Russia 11,400 2,280
Netherlands 10,953 2,191
France 10,600 2,120
Tunisia 8,800 1,760
Puerto Rico 7,030 1,406
Canada 7,000 1,400
Egypt 5,950 1,190
Australia 5,475 1,095
Cameroon 4,250 850
China 2,850 570

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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