Fans first: with affordable prices, packed stadiums and top-quality football on offer, it is no wonder spectators flock to see the likes of Mats Hummels (r.) at Bayern Munich. - © 2019 DFL
Fans first: with affordable prices, packed stadiums and top-quality football on offer, it is no wonder spectators flock to see the likes of Mats Hummels (r.) at Bayern Munich. - © 2019 DFL

Why the Bundesliga is the world's best supported league


With a report by the CIES Football Observatory confirming that the Bundesliga boasts the highest attendances in world football, has delved a little deeper to discover why German football is such a global benchmark.

Fifty one national leagues from 42 countries were analysed by researchers at the CIES Football Observatory, and the results were clear: the Bundesliga is best. With an average attendance of 43,302 per game between 2013 and 2018, the Bundesliga is streets ahead of its European peers. The English Premier League in second place with 36,675, followed by Spain's La Liga (27,381).

Borussia Dortmund lead the way in terms of individual clubs, with their average in excess of 80,000 per match ranking them ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. With Schalke, Hamburg and Stuttgart, the Bundesliga supplies five of the top nine clubs in terms of average attendance.

With a capacity for 25,000 fans, Borussia Dortmund's Yellow Wall is the largest standing terrace in world football. - 2018 DFL

"Germany appears as the footballing country par excellence," explained the researchers. "Although also very popular, English and Spanish clubs have considerably fewer spectators than German teams."

And it does not stop there either. Germany's second division, Bundesliga 2, ranks 10th on the global chart, and is the second tier with the highest average attendances in the world. But why is that?

With an average of 3.1 goals per game over the past three decades, fans in Germany see more goals than in any other country in the world. Even without such excitement, the lure of the lowest ticket prices in Europe's top five leagues contributes to the 'sold out' signs being hoisted more often than not each weekend.

The lowest average ticket prices in Europe ensure Bundesliga grounds are invariably full. - Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

The average price for a seat in a Bundesliga stadium is just €26. Furthermore, safe standing areas ensure access for as little as €11. Compare that with the £31 (roughly €36) on average for a ticket to a Premier League fixture and over the course of a season it could plausibly work out cheaper for football fans in England to hop on a plane and head to Germany, and still have enough funds left over for refreshments – and they do so in their droves.

The Bundesliga is not just the place to be for the fans, but also for the players. With over €1.5 billion invested in youth development since 2002, it is hardly surprising that young players are flocking to Germany for an unrivalled footballing education. The clubs have shown themselves to be willing to give teenagers a chance in the first team, rather than simply keeping them on the bench.

Between 2009 and 2017, the average age of Bundesliga players was 25.84 – younger than France (25.91), Spain (26.5), England (26.79) and Italy (27.13). With the opportunities on offer, players like Christian Pulisic, Jadon Sancho and Weston McKennie have all taken strides in the Bundesliga, which also produced players of the calibre of Naby Keita and Leroy Sane, among many others.

Young stars such as Jadon Sancho (l.) and Christian Pulisic (r.) are ensuring plenty of excitement on the pitch for the fans. - DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

In 2018/19, Dortmund's challenge of Bayern's recent dominance has also cranked up the excitement levels, while the scramble for one of the Bundesliga's four UEFA Champions League group stage berths and the challenge for UEFA Europa League qualification has kept fans on the edge of their seats – both at the stadium and at home.

In the USA, Fox Sports reported a 33 per cent increase year on year for viewing figures for Der Klassiker, with Bayern's 5-0 win over Dortmund drawing the best viewing figures for a Bundesliga fixture in three years – and the tendency is rising.

A total of 205 countries worldwide broadcast the 100th Klassiker live, and they witnessed why the Bundesliga is a benchmark: goals, full stadium, fan choreography and the exciting stars of today and tomorrow. No wonder the Bundesliga continues to be the biggest fan magnet in world football.