Largest Sporting Crowds
There have been some very large crowds of spectators watching sporting events. Below are some of the largest known sporting crowds. At the moment I have just collected information about huge crowds at sporting events, which are now being checked. More suggestions and other crowds numbers are coming in (see comments below).
It is often difficult to record actual crowd numbers for very large events, particularly if there are not contained in a single stadium where tickets can be sold and entry monitored. Sporting events such as the Tour de France are able to have a lot more in attendance than in a stadium, though counting spectators is very difficult. Later I will be dividing these crowds figures into those attending an enclosed stadium compared to trackside events such as cycling road races, horse racing and motorsports. Please let me know using the comment for below if you have information to add.
Ordered list of top world sporting crowds
Here are some of the largest sporting crowds reported. At the moment I have just collected information about huge crowds at sporting events, not all numbers have been confirmed (and may never will be).
- The Tour de France cycle race - the number of spectators at recent events is estimated to be 12 to 15 million. Many other cycle races and similar events will have huge number of spectators. This number is the aggregate number of spectators over the whole three week event, but still phenomenal numbers.
- The Indianapolis 500 has an estimated crowd of 400,000 attend. They also report big crowds at the Daytona 500 and Le Mans events.
- I also found a reference to more than 300 000 people at an event in Circus Maximus (Rome) a few years BC. (unconfirmed!)
- Maracana stadium in Brazil had a record attendance of 199,854 for the Brazil vs. Uruguay match in the World Cup Final on the 16th June, 1950. This is the biggest attendance at a sporting event held in an enclosed stadium. The crowd number is an unofficial number - the official crowd (people who paid tickets) that day was 173,850. Due to its large capacity, Maracana stadium has many more reported sporting events with large attendance figures.
- 190,000 attended the 2nd day of a 2-day Pro Wrestling event at the May Day Stadium on the 29th of April 1995. The headline act was "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
- In Feb 2008, 170,802 fans were in attendance at the FBR Open Golf Tournament in Scotsdale, Arizona (U.S. PGA Tour). It is thought to be the largest crowd ever to witness a single day sports event (where the event is held within the confines of a private piece of real estate) - as opposed to millions of people watching a moving sports event such as The Tour De France or the Olympic Marathon.
- Kentucky Derby had a crowd of 165,000 in May 2012.
- At a Scotland v England match 17th April 1937 at Hampden Park, there was officially 149,415 spectators. Sources say that there were more, considering there were a lot of people in the stadium without tickets.
- 135,000 - Portugal, da Luz, 04.01.1987, SL Benfica-FC Porto, football.
- 134,000 - 1997 Federation Cup Semi Final between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan holds the record for the largest audience in Indian football. The match played in 13th July, 1997 at Salt Lake Stadium drew 134,000 spectators. This is a record attendance for any sport in India.
- The highest attendance at a sporting event in England was 126,047 at Wembley Stadium, 28th April1923, at a football match between Bolton Wanderers FC and West Ham United FC.
- 124,000 attended Estádio Santiago Bernabéu in Spain on 30.05.1957, for a football game between Real Madrid CF-ACF Fiorentina.
- The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), Australia had 121,696 for the 1970 Australian Rules Football grand final in 1970 between Carlton and Collingwood.
- The unofficial record for a game in the USA is approximately 120,000 to see a Notre Dame/ Army game in 1928. The same estimated crowd also saw the Norte Dame v USC football game in Soldier Field, Chicago in 1927. That occurred prior to the north end of the stadium being removed, leaving the stands in a horseshoe configuration which it kept until the renovation in 2002.
- The largest crowd to ever watch a Super Bowl live was at Super Bowl XIV – 103,985 attended the 1980 Super Bowl held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California,
- data from online forums and databases. Not all figures are confirmed - do your own research if it matters.