The women’s volleyball World Championship gold medal match filled the Yokohama arena to its capacity of 11,500, but overall, the final round attendance continued the narrative of disappointing attendances that have plagued the tournament.
The ‘final site’ matches, which included 2 semi-finals, and the matches to determine the gold medalists, bronze medalists, and 5th-place finishers, saw only 2 sellouts of the Yokahama arena. The semi-final matches, without the host Japan participating, drew just 6,450 and 7,600 fans, respectively.
Besides the gold medal match, the other sellout was actually the 5th-place match between the United States and the hosts Japan, which happened after the semifinals. The bronze medal match, which immediately preceded the gold medal event, drew 11,000 – just short of an official sellout.
Those final 5 matches drew an average of 9,610 spectators per, which is down from the 11,950 averaged in the final round at the 2014 event in Milan, Italy. In 2014, the host nation played in (and lost) the bronze medal match, and there was no 5th-place match, but the overall attendance even with one fewer match for the final round was almost the same as 2018.
In total, attendance at the 2018 Women’s Volleyball World Championships clocked in at 224,415, or 2,179 per match. In 2014, in Italy, attendance was 328,700, or 3,223 per match (with 1 fewer matches). That’s a 32.4% decline, on a per-match basis, for 2018.
The men’s tournament (read more here), also saw a decline from 2014 of more than 100,000 fans, even excluding the huge crowd of 61,500 that opened the tournament in Poland.