4174.0 - Sports Attendance, Australia, 2005-06  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2007   
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January 25, 2007
Embargoed 11:30am (AEDT)

Australian rules a favourite: 2.5 million attended in 2005-06

Around 2.5 million Australians aged 15 years and over (16%) attended an Australian rules football game at least once during 2005-06, according to the latest sports attendance snapshot released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Of these, the majority attended more than once, with 868,400 going six or more times during the year, and 679,700 attending three to five times.

Other popular sports included horse racing (13%), rugby league and motor sports (both 9%). The survey results also show that nearly half (44%) of Australians had attended at least one sporting event in 2005-06.

Males reported higher attendance rates (52%) than females (37%) across nearly all sporting events. More males than females attended Australian rules football (19% and 13% respectively) and over twice as many males attended motor sports (13% and 6%), cricket (7% and 2%) and rugby union (6% and 3%).

Females reported a higher attendance rate than males at tennis and netball (both at 2% and 1% respectively).

Attendance rates were also higher for males than females across all age groups. The rate of attendance also declined with increasing age. Australians aged 18-24 years recorded the highest attendance rate (57%) while people aged 65 years and over reported the lowest rate (23%).

Frequency of attendance varied considerably over the different sports. Nearly one in two (46%) people who attended netball and over a third (34%) of those attending soccer attended six times or more during the previous 12 months. The majority of people who attended dog racing (74%), harness racing (74%), horse racing (70%), motor sports (69%) and tennis (65%) only attended once or twice during the same reference period.

The Northern Territory recorded the highest sports attendance rate (50%), while the lowest attendance rate was recorded for people living in New South Wales (42%).

The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held during the period of collection of the Sports Attendance Survey. During this period, almost 40,000 Australians aged 15 years and over reported attending at least one sporting event of the 16 day Commonwealth Games.

Further details are in Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0).