Regionalliga attendance

I thought it might be interesting to look at attendance in the 4th division Regionalliga. So here are the results, along with attendance figures from this weekend. While costs are down due to closer proximities, it’s pretty clear that the reorganization – despite making a lot of sense – hasn’t been a boon to attendance. Germany, like most countries, is watching the fans go to the “money” of the first division. So while the Bundesliga continues with massive numbers, the lower divisions are struggling.

Most clubs seem to get by on less than 1,000, although some of the “traditionals” like Wuppertal, Kiel and Trier tend to draw a bit more. The Nordost, with it’s ex-GDR pedigree, has several clubs that fit in this category.

One bright spot is Essen, where Rot-Weiss is averaging 8,300 a match, including 11,037 in the city “derby” with FC Kray. (Hardly a derby, because I’m sure most of Essen’s football fans never even knew FC Kray existed). In addition RWE drew 12,500 for the DFB Cup match against Union Berlin.

Regionalliga Nord:      7,451 (avg 828)

BV Cloppenburg	         -   Werder Bremen II	     3:3 (3:0)   1,034
Holstein Kiel	         -   SV Meppen	             4:1 (3:1)   3,043
VfL Wolfsburg II	 -   Hamburger SV II	     2:0 (2:0)     180
BSV SW Rehden	         -   Hannover 96 II	     1:2 (1:0)     600
FC St. Pauli II	         -   ETSV Weiche Flensburg   1:2 (1:1)     145
VfB Oldenburg	         -   VfR Neumünster	     1:2 (0:1)     920
VfB Lübeck	         -   Victoria Hamburg	     3:2 (3:2)     901
Goslarer SC 08	         -   FC Oberneuland	     4:1 (2:0)     300
SV Wilhelmshaven	 -   TSV Havelse	     0:0 (0:0)     328

Regionalliga Nordost:  12,237 (avg 1,534)

1. FC Lok Leipzig	 -   1. FC Magdeburg	     3:0 (1:0)   5,289
Optik Rathenow	         -   TSG Neustrelitz	     0:1 (0:0)     437
VfB Auerbach	         -   Berliner AK 07	     0:0 (0:0)     520
VFC Plauen	         -   FSV Zwickau	     0:3 (0:0)   2,540
Germania Halberstadt	 -   1. FC Union Berlin II   1:1 (0:1)     711
Torgelower SV Greif	 -   RasenBallsport Leipzig  0:4 (0:1)     540
Hertha BSC II	         -   Energie Cottbus II	     1:1 (0:0)     334
ZFC Meuselwitz	         -   Carl Zeiss Jena	     0:0 (0:0)   1,902

Regionalliga West:     13,413 (avg 1,490)
Rot-Weiss Essen	         -   MSV Duisburg II	     1:1 (1:0)   7,077
Sportfreunde Siegen	 -   Borussia M'gladbach II  4:0 (1:0)   1,309
Sportfreunde Lotte	 -   VfL Bochum II	     0:0 (0:0)     566
Wuppertaler SV Bor.	 -   Rot-Weiß Oberhausen     3:1 (1:1)   1,441
SV Bergisch Gladbach 09	 -   VfB Hüls	             1:4 (0:2)     406
Fortuna Köln	         -   FC Kray	             1:1 (0:1)     915
1. FC Köln II	         -   FC Schalke 04 II	     3:1 (2:1)     350
SC Verl	                 -   SC Wiedenbrück 2000     4:1 (1:0)     657
Fortuna Düsseldorf II	 -   Bayer Leverkusen II     1:2 (1:1)      72
SSVg Velbert	         -   FC Viktoria Köln	     0:2 (0:1)     620

Regionalliga Südwest:  4,320 (avg 540)
Eintracht Frankfurt II	 -   Hessen Kassel	     1:3 (1:2)     250
FC 08 Homburg	         -   SV Elversberg	     0:1 (0:0)   1,138
SC Pfullendorf	         -   SG Sonnenhof Großaspach 2:0 (1:0)     330
Wormatia Worms	         -   Waldhof Mannheim	     canceled
1. FSV Mainz 05 II	 -   Bayern Alzenau	     1:1 (0:1)     375
SC Freiburg II	         -   1. FC Kaiserslautern II 1:1 (0:0)     200
Eintracht Trier	         -   SSV Ulm 1846 Fußball    3:2 (0:2)   1,425
1899 Hoffenheim II	 -   1. FC Eschborn	     4:1 (3:1)     300
FSV Frankfurt II	 -   TuS Koblenz	     1:4 (0:0) 	   302

Regionalliga Bayern:    3,720 (avg 465)
1860 München II	         -   TSV Buchbach	     canceled
SV Seligenporten	 -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth II 1:2 (1:0)     300
FC Augsburg II	         -   Bayern München II	     2:2 (0:1)     800
SV Heimstetten	         -   VfL Frohnlach	     2:1 (1:1)     250
SC Eltersdorf	         -   1. FC Nürnberg II	     1:2 (0:1)     928
FC Ingolstadt 04 II	 -   FV Illertissen	     1:3 (1:1)     200
Würzburger Kickers	 -   FC Ismaning	     0:5 (0:2)     360
SpVgg Bayern Hof	 -   FC Eintracht Bamberg    3:1 (1:0)     480
TSV Rain/Lech	         -   Viktoria Aschaffenburg  4:0 (2:0) 	   402
FC Memmingen	         -   TSV 1860 Rosenheim      postponed

8 thoughts on “Regionalliga attendance

  1. Whilst the Bundesliga is the most supported football league in the world (and number 3 behind the NFL and IPL in all sports) attendances in the 2nd Bundesliga and below are poor, especially when compared to England where I would say every 4th level team averages over 1,000, most probably hover around 2,000. Even in the 2nd Bundesliga attendances are poor. Take Fürth (I know they are in the Bundesliga now!) who player for years as a good 2nd Liga team but only averaged around 7,000. FSV Frankfurt only has about 2,500! Bochum went from full houses in the Bundesliga and only drew 8,000 for their first game in the 2nd Liga.

    Any ideas why this is?

    • I think it’s just that everything has gone towards the Bundesliga. Media and promotion have made the Bundesliga very attractive, so there’s less enthusiasm for the small local clubs. In general, 2.Liga is not terrible, but it’s not very evenly spread, as the small clubs really have small numbers. Another noticeable trend in Germany is that many clubs are based in overgrown villages, so they don’t really have much of a fan base to begin with. I would say that in England there are probably fewer clubs. Down through the 5th division (i.e. “Conference”) it’s a national league. In general, as far as I can tell, the lower divisions in England have the highest attendance numbers in Europe. But I would say that the German lower leagues would be second.

      One thing that might help attendance for lower clubs is to split up things to avoid scheduling conflicts. In the US, look at American football: by and large, Friday is reserved for high schools, Saturday for colleges and Sunday for the NFL. It’s not impossible for a fan to go to 3 matches on the weekend (I know, I’ve done it.) However when Wuppertal is playing MSV Duisburg II at the same time that Borussia Dortmund faces Schalke, there probably aren’t too many fans showing up at the Zoo-Stadion. If I’m not mistaken, it used to be more divided in the “old days”. I seem to recall that Saturday was Bundesliga only, Sunday was usually second division. Of course, in the old days there was little “live” TV, whereas now you can just about see everything everywhere.

    • Where in Essen did you live and how old were you? As a kid playing club soccer in the Eastern part of that town, FC Kray (09?) were a known entity. Kray, of course, is not a place you would visit, except if you wander into from its more presentable neighbor, Steele.

      As to Adam’s question, I’d love to hear a qualified opinion on that. To me, German attendance figures always seemed exemplary and at all levels. If the English system churns out more numbers, I can’t wait for an explanation…

    • Supposedly Kray has been around since something like 1901 in sporting terms. I think it was around 1986 that FC Kray was formed, via a fusion of DJK and VfL or something. I know I never heard of Kray until recently, and the second force is Essen was always Schwarz-Weiss…

  2. I think it does help that in England, kick off times are still at 15.00 on a Saturday across all leagues. I look at the 2nd Liga here and maybe the kick off times do not help (early evening or early afternoon).

    It also sees that clubs being relegated hold on to their fans more than German clubs (Even when slipping to the 3rd level, Man City, Leeds, Southampton and the two Sheffields all had big crowds) which suprises me considering the cost comparison and the way clubs are run in England.

    It is a bit sad that the 2nd team from Frankfurt (FSV), a large city, averages about 3,000 and does not seem to have increased its fanbase, where the 2nd team from Bristol (Rovers), playing in the 4th level, average this season over 5,000!

    • According to the stats, the differences are not quite as dramatic as I thought. The biggest gap is really in the 4th division, which in Germany is the multi-division Regionalliga.

      From what I’ve been able to pull together, it’s like this

      Premier League 35,496 – Bundesliga 42,718
      Championship 17,054 – 2.Liga 16,764
      League One 6,060 – 3.Liga 6,273
      League Two 4,122 – Regionalliga 500-1,500
      Conference 1,864 – Oberliga not much

      By the time you get to the 4th level, things become regionalized in Germany, and you get a lot of “village” teams. Certainly in attendance a big advantage to League 2. I’m not as familiar with England, but I would bet there are fewer clubs in the pot. Most towns in Germany have multiple officially registered clubs competing in DFB regulated leagues…

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