Fans turn up in force for Football League openers

The highest opening weekend crowds since 1963 have welcomed the start of the new Coca-Cola Football League season.

More than 450,000 people attended the 36 matches played in the Coca-Cola Championship, League 1 and League 2.  The average attendance for the opening weekend was 12,694, up by 14 percent on last season.

The largest crowd of the weekend was at Pride Park, where 33,010 fans saw Derby County’s 2-1 victory against Peterborough United.

The Yorkshire derby between Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley at Hillsborough also attracted more than 30,000 supporters, with the matches at Cardiff City, Leicester City, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion attracting more than 20,000.

Attendances across the Championship averaged 21,007, a 4 percent increase on 12 months ago.

In Coca-Cola League 1 there were three crowds in excess of 20,000, with Leeds United, Norwich City and Southampton all packing them in on the opening day.

Consequently, crowds averaged an impressive 12,109 a rise of 45 percent on last season.

In Coca-Cola League 2 10,254 saw Rotherham beat Accrington Stanley at the Don Valley Stadium and 9,396 watched Notts County’s 5-0 win over Bradford City at Meadow Lane.

Attendances across League 2 averaged 4,967, up 4 percent on last season.   2009/10 Coca-Cola Football League opening weekend attendances (2008/09 figures in brackets)   Coca-Cola Football League Games: 36 (36) Total attendance: 456,997 (399,439) Average attendance: 12,694 (11,096) Difference: +14%   Coca-Cola Championship Games: 12 (12) Total attendance: 252,083 (242,342) Average attendance: 21,007 (20,195) Difference: +4 percent   Coca-Cola League 1 Games: 12 (12) Total attendance: 145,312 (99,885) Average attendance: 12,109 (8,324) Difference: +45 percent   Coca-Cola League 2 Games: 12 (12) Total attendance: 59,602 (57,212) Average attendance: 4,967 (4,768) Difference: +4 percent