More than a month into the 2024 season, professional soccer’s K League 1 is enjoying “record-breaking” box office numbers.

According to the Korea Professional Football Association (KPFA), a total of 341,795 people attended the 24 K League 1 matches through the fourth round of the 2024 season, an average of 14,000 per game.

This is the highest attendance record for the fourth round of K League 1 since the introduction of the professional soccer promotion system 스포츠토토 in 2013.

The previous record was 12,598 in 2013, and the previous high was 11,425 last year before the K League started counting only paying fans in 2018.

By round, the average attendance was 15,743 for the first round, 15,479 for the second round, 14,577 for the third round, and 11,167 for the fourth round.

While the number has been declining slightly as the matches progress, it has shown a steady trend compared to previous years, when it dropped below 10,000 in the third and fourth rounds, the KFA analyzed.

This year, six of the 12 K League 1 teams, or half of the teams, have set new records for the largest home openers in the era of paid attendance.

In particular, FC Seoul, which signed England international and Manchester United “superstar” Jesse Lingard, drew 51,670 fans to its home opener against Incheon United on March 10 (Round 2), setting a new K League 1 single-game attendance record since the promotion system.

Ulsan Hyundai (28,683 against Pohang Steelers in the first round) and Jeonbuk Hyundai (24,758 against Daejeon Hana Citizens in the first round) also set new attendance records for home openers.

The KFA also pointed out that the increase in attendance was not limited to traditional favorites such as Seoul and Jeonbuk, characterizing the early season’s success.

Gwangju FC sold out its home opener within two and a half minutes of the start of pre-sale, while Gangwon FC also recorded its first home sellout in the era of paid attendance in the fourth round against Seoul last weekend. Daegu FC, which has become an “emerging favorite” since the opening of DGB Daegu Bank Park in 2019, has sold out all three of its home games this season.

The league said, “The popularity of the club has continued steadily this season instead of ‘sparkling’ last season,” explaining the effect of the club’s active promotion and marketing activities.

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