SPFL welcomes fifth-highest opening day cinch Premiership attendance count this century

A sellout crowd at Celtic Park hosted more than half of the entire count as the opening weekend of the SPFL league season got underway.

Celtic hosted more than half of the entire cinch Premiership attendance count as the 2022/23 SPFL league season kicked off at the weekend.

Supporters flocked to stadiums across the country for the opening weekend of the new domestic campaign and the top flights’ combined crowd was the fifth-highest recorded this century.

Two matches were available live on television via Sky Sports, but 106,173 fans still turned out to watch the six games across the cinch Premiership, with a sellout 58,824 inside Celtic Park for flag day against Aberdeen.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

A combined total of 130,983 fans took advantage of the lifted capacity restricitions in place over the last two seasons due to the Coronavirus pandemic to attend matches across Scotland’s four divisions.

Grounds in the cinch Championship hosted 11,883 supporters, while a similar number - 12,927 were spread around League 1 and League 2, with 7,321 of those at Dunfermline and Falkirk games.

SPFL chief executive, Neil Doncaster said: “The start of the new cinch SPFL season is always an exciting time, and it was made even better by the fact we’ve started it for the first time in three years with capacity crowds.

“It is hugely impressive for over 130,000 fans to have attended matches across our four divisions and another reminder of the huge commitment of Scottish football fans.

“Having fans back in stadia has been a real boost for supporters themselves, players and the clubs, and dramatically improves the experience for all involved.

“It’s been a tough time for our 42 member clubs since the pandemic began, so to have ticket and hospitality revenue from the beginning of the season again is a real bonus.”

Celtic fans during the cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park, on July 31, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Last season, capacties were limited to a percentage ot each stadium’s total capacity, combining for some of the lowest attendance tallies on record.

However, some of the highest opening day crowd figures in Scotland this century have come in the past five years.

Top opening weekend attendances in Scotland’s top-flight, per season:

2001 - 116,038

2017 - 110,583

2018 - 109,196

2019 - 107,818

2022 - 106,173

2004 - 104,798

2008 - 101,541

2006 - 100,230

2009 - 98,135

2000 - 98,067

2020 - Behind closed doors