How much we pay to attend live sport

It’s hard to believe with tens of thousands of fans heading to Lang Park tonight for State of Origin Game I, but new research shows NRL is not the most popular spectator sport in the country.

RACQ’s latest ‘Cost of Living’ report, conducted with Deloitte Access Economics, researched the spending habits of Aussies attending live sporting events.

NRL games were the best bang for your buck. A single League game ticket cost on average $20.80. That was not the case for Origin tickets however, costing on average more than double the price of a regular fixture.

Despite keen interest from Queensland and New South Wales fans, and a push to gain support in Victoria with Melbourne-hosted Origin games, NRL was not the most popular spectator sport in Australia. Last year, AFL took the lead with an average of more than 31,800 people attending matches.

Surprisingly, Super 15 Union came in second place with just over 20,000 fans heading along to each game, followed by NRL which had an average of 16,500. This was likely due to the fact there was a maximum of three Super 15 games in a weekend, compared with NRL’s eight. Union’s high popularity may also have been the result of reasonable annual membership passes. With a monthly price tag of $17.50, Rugby’s passes came in as the cheapest of all codes.

Only 12,500 people attended A League matches and the code’s high price tag of $33.25 per game (the most expensive of the sports considered) could be to blame.

Overall, sporting fans saved cash if they opted for an annual sign-up rather than pay per match.

No matter the cost, Australians love live sport. More than 50,000 fans were expected in Brisbane tonight as State of Origin Game 1 kicks off at 8pm.

RACQ’s ‘Cost of Living’ report can be found here.