Sunderland break record as EFL attendances reach 60-year high

Watch Newport vs Mansfield in Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final, live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm on Thursday

Image: The attendance of 46,039 for Sunderland's match vs Bradford on Boxing Day was a record for League One

Attendances across the EFL reached a 60-year high last season with 18.3m supporters going through the turnstiles.

Fixtures across the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two attracted an average attendance of over 11,000.

It is the third season running that the 18m barrier has been broken but the cumulative total of 18.3m in the season just gone is the highest since 1959.

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The figure represents an increase of 1.5% per cent on the previous season while a comparison of attendances for the 67 clubs that competed in the EFL in the last two seasons increased by 1.6 per cent.

Sunderland attracted the biggest EFL crowd last season with 46,039 attending their League One fixture against Bradford on Boxing Day.

There were also 41,129 at the Stadium of Light last month for the match against Portsmouth.

In the Championship, Leeds' average attendance was 37,004 while Aston Villa averaged 36,026 and Derby's figure was 32,055.

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The biggest crowd in League Two was on the final day of the season when 20,718 watched Milton Keynes seal promotion against Mansfield.

Portsmouth won the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties following a dramatic 2-2 draw after extra-time
Image: A record crowd of 85,021 watched Portsmouth beat Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy final on penalties following a dramatic 2-2 draw

In addition, a record crowd of 85,021 watched Portsmouth beat Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley in March.

The sides meet again in the League One play-offs this month with Sunderland at home in the first leg on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Football.

EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: "It is a significant achievement by all 72 EFL Clubs to continue the trend of increasing attendances across the EFL and achieve a 60-year high.

"It is clear from this analysis that EFL Clubs are finding new, innovative ways to attract new supporters while also improving the matchday experience for those fans who regularly attend week in, week out."

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