Football remains the most popular individual sport in the UK

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UK sporting events attract 67m spectators

A total of 67 million people have attended British sporting events this year, new Deloitte data shows.

Professional sporting events have attracted more than 67 million spectators over the course of this year, according to new Deloitte research.

The latest data from the firm’s Sports Business Group shows that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow proved to be the most highly-attended event.

The Games was the largest sporting event to ever be staged north of the border, with 1.3 million tickets sold over the 11 days which it ran for.

The other nine sporting events in the top 10 attracted crowds of 2.5 million between them, Deloitte said.

Wimbledon and the Ryder Cup both performed strongly, attracting crowds of nearly half a million and 240,000 respectively.

Horseracing and equestrian events took five of the top 10 positions, meanwhile.

Football named most popular sport

Looking at individual disciplines, rather than single events, the study indicates that football remains the most popular type of sport in the UK.

Deloitte said 42.8 million people have watched live football matches this year.

Boasting combined crowds of 13.9 million, clubs in the English Premier League have achieved the highest aggregate domestic football league attendance in Europe.

‘Uniting the nation’

Commenting on the findings, Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said sporting events can help to unite people.

He said: “Whether it be a continent coming together to support the European team in the Ryder Cup, or a nation getting behind Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlroy in their respective quests for glory, sport is a powerful tool which can do much to galvanise national pride.”

Rugby and racing retain appeal

Over the course of the 2013/14 period, a total of 4.9 million people attended rugby union matches.

With the Rugby World Cup now less than a year away, it is thought that the sport’s attendance figure will rise even higher.

Commenting on the appeal of racecourse events, Alan Switzer, director in the Sports Business Group, said: “Horseracing continues to be the UK’s second most popular sport - after football - in terms of attendances.”

He added: “No other nation in the world can boast of having such a high quality and varied set of meetings.”

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Copyright Press Association 2014

Press release
The UK’s golden decade of sport continued to captivate the nation in 2014, with attendances of over 67m at professional sports events.

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