Attendances grow by 11 percent as Al Ahli top RSL clubs

The Roshn Saudi League recorded an increase of 11 percent in overall attendances for the 2023-24 season compared to the previous campaign.

The total number of fans attending RSL matches in the recently concluded season hit 2,495,030 - up from 2,249,116 in the 2022-23 campaign. Al Hilal were crowned the 2023-24 champions.

Jeddah-based Al Ahli, most recently champions in 2016, boasted the highest accumulative attendance this season, with 414,282 fans in total attending their 17 home matches - an average of 24,370 fans per match. The club, which features the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino and Franck Kessie, contributed 16% of the league's total attendance, with four of their home matches in the top 10 most-attended matches this campaign.

Champions Al Hilal sit second with 371,012 total fans, at an average of 21,824 fans per match. The Riyadh club’s Matchweek 2 fixture against Al Fayha at King Fahd International Stadium supplied the highest attendance of the season, as 59,600 fans watched the unveiling of their raft of star signings, including Neymar, Yassine Bounou and Malcom.

Rounding off the top three were 2022-23 champions Al Ittihad, who amassed 305,495 fans at an average of 17,970 fans per game, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr were a close fourth with 302,865 in total, or 17,816 fans per match.

Beyond the league's lead four, a quartet of clubs who moved into new stadiums in the past 12 months feature: Al Fateh sit fifth, followed by Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq, Al Taawoun and Al Shabab.

The 2023-24 season saw six matches break the 50,000 mark, with the aforementioned Al Hilal v Al Fayha game followed by the Jeddah derby in Matchweek 9, where Al Ittihad welcomed 55,764 fans at home.

Meanwhile, Al Ahli’s home match against Al Nassr in Matchweek 24 was attended by 52,037 fans, while their Matchweek 11 clash with Al Hilal in Riyadh had 50,986 in attendance.

The fifth RSL game to cross 50,000 fans was the reverse Jeddah derby in Matchweek 26, with Al Ahli's home fixture with Al Ittihad bringing in 50,633 fans. The Riyadh derby in Matchweek 15, which took place between hosts Al Hilal and Al Nassr at King Fahd International Stadium, welcomed 50,561 fans.

Also, the RSL continued its rapid growth in exposure, with its social media channels adding 6.72 million new followers - representing a 141% jump from the start of the season. Furthermore, its broadcast reach increased by 30%, to 160 countries on 38 global platforms.