Fans flock to 2. Bundesliga as attendances in second tier exceed Bundesliga for first time

As German football fans like to highlight, football is nothing without fans. That sentiment holds particular sway this weekend as attendances in 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of German football, outnumbered Bundesliga for the first time.

With fan protests continuing across Germany in opposition to DFL proposals for private investment in marketing revenue, crowds across Germany continue to fill stadiums in support of their clubs.

The second tier is already the fifth-most watched league across the continent.

Only the Bundesliga, England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and the Italian Serie A average more than 2. Bundesliga attendances and crowds continue to swell.

In 2022/23 the average attendance across the season 22,270 with HSV enjoying the highest average (53, 529), whilst St. Pauli recorded the highest stadium occupancy with a 99% rate across the campaign.

This season, the highest average attendance is held by Schalke with over 61,400 but with large fanbases across the 2. Bundesliga, the league average is close to 29,000.

Seven clubs average over 35,000, including Hannover 96 (35,082), Hertha BSC (46,253), and HSV (55,660). 

Schalke’s average attendance ranks 11th for all clubs in Europe this season and Hamburg is in the top 25. 

This weekend, 2. Bundesliga attendances exceeded Germany’s top tier for the first time.

Crowds in 2. Bundesliga amounted to close to 284,800 whilst Bundesliga’s official attendance across all games was 264,050.

There were crowds of under 18,000 at Hoffenheim, Heidenheim and Darmstadt in Germany’s top tier.

In comparison, there were sell-outs as St Pauli overcame Braunschweig, Schalke beat Wehen and Rostock drew with rivals, HSV in the second tier.

Records are likely to continue to fall as St Pauli and Kiel are separated by just three points at the top of 2. Bundesliga and seven clubs are within six points as they chase the coveted 3rd place promotion play-off spot.

At the bottom, five points separate second-bottom Rostock from Magdeburg in 12th.

With twelve matches remaining of the season, one of Europe’s most attractive and entertaining leagues continues to delight fans.

GGFN | Oscar O’Mara

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