Source: The Mercury, Wednesday, 20 March, 1996, p.5
AUSTRALIAN Rules football is Australia's most popular spectator sport with almost two million people attending at least one game in the 12 months to March 1995, fig- ures released yesterday show. Australian Bureau of Stat- istics figures show 1,874,200 people saw at least one game during the year, with horse racing the second most popu- lar with 1.7 million people attending at least one meet- ing. Rugby league was third (1.5 million) and cricket (1.2 million) fourth. Of the two million people who attended at least one Australian rules game, al- most 30% (553,300) saw 10 games or more. The three codes of racing (horse, harness and dog) at- tracted 2.6 million people at least once to a meeting-1.7 million to horse racing, 600,000 to harness racing and 300,000 to dog racing. More than 40% (959,000) of these people attended racing events only once during the year while just 11 per cent went more than 10 times dur- ing the year. However, for rugby league 19% attended more than 10 times a year and for cricket only 8% at- tended more than 10 times annually. The survey reported that 6.2 million, or 44.3 per cent of the population over 15 years of age, went to a sporting event at least once during the year. Males were the predomi- nant spectators, 3.6 million attending compared to 2.7 million of females. However, similar numbers of females (339,500) and males (352,200) attended basketball matches and more females (231,200) than males (200,400) attended tennis matches and far more fe- males (221,100) than males (91,200) attended netball matches. About 49% of young people aged between 15 to 24 years attended at least one sporting event but the percentage drops to 20.8% (445,000) for those 65 years and older. Attendance was not con- fined to going to a local event, as 1.6 million Australians attended a sporting event while away from homes, with more than 900,000 of these people living outside of the six state capital cities. AAP
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