World League Attendance: Serbia’s Home-Court Advantage


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Though Italy had far and away the best overall attendance of the three Group 1 host sites for the first week of World League play, Serbia showed a remarkable home-court advantage, with attendance spiking more than 1200% for matches involving the host nation.

We compared game attendance figures for the three host sites in Group 1: Pesaro, Italy (Group A1), Novi Sad, Serbia (B1) and Kazan, Russia (C1). Italy had far and away the top overall attendance, averaging about 1400 more spectators per match and a total of 4500 more aggregate spectators than the other two sites. Here’s a look at those total and averaged numbers:

Pool Site Average Game Attendance Total Attendance
A1 Pesaro, Italy 4283 21,700
B1 Novi Sad, Serbia 2867 17,200
C1 Kazan, Russia 2833 17,000

Interestingly enough, Russia had more consistent numbers than Serbia, pulling in a minimum of 900 spectators for each of its 6 matches. Serbia had three matches pull less than 500 spectators. But Serbia caught up to Russia in overall numbers through an impressive spike in attendance in matches involving the Serbian team itself. Serbia drew 500, 400 and 300 spectators for the three matches that didn’t involve the Serbian team, but 6500, 4300 and 5200 for the three matches pitting Serbia against pool rivals.

Here’s a look at the breakdown for each site between matches involving the host nation and matches where the host nation was not playing. All figures are averages of the three games involving or not involving the home team:

Pool Site Home Team Playing Home Team Not Playing % Boost For Home Team Matches
A1 Pesaro, Italy 5,667 2,900 95.4%
B1 Novi Sad, Serbia 5,333 400 1233.3%
C1 Kazan, Russia 4,667 1,000 366.7%

Serbia’s home-crowd spike was massive, with averages more than twelve times higher for matches involving the Serbian team. Italy, meanwhile, was a more well-rounded crowd with high turnouts even for non-Italy matches, but still pulled almost double the attendance on average for matches between Italy and another nation.

A few more fast facts:

  • Highest single-match attendance: 7000, Brazil vs Italy in Pesaro, Italy
  • Lowest single-match attendance: 300, Belgium vs United States in Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Highest attendance for a match not involving the host nation: 4000, Poland vs Brazil in Pesaro, Italy
  • Lowest attendance for a match involving the host nation: 4100, tie between Russia vs Argentina and Russia vs Bulgaria in Russia

Attendance was at its highest on Friday, the first day of play. Things tapered off on Saturday, but surged back some on Sunday:

Date Average Attendance
6/2 3583
6/3 2950
6/4 3450

Here’s a look at the full data for all 18 Group 1 matches. Attendance figures are direct from official competition results, which are generally fairly rounded numbers:

Date Pool Winner Loser Host Nation Attendance Home team involved?
6/2 A1 Poland Brazil Italy 4000 No
6/2 A1 Italy Iran Italy 5500 Yes
6/3 A1 Poland Italy Italy 4500 Yes
6/3 A1 Brazil Iran Italy 1500 No
6/4 A1 Brazil Italy Italy 7000 Yes
6/4 A1 Iran Poland Italy 3200 No
6/2 B1 Canada Belgium Serbia 500 No
6/2 B1 Serbia United States Serbia 6500 Yes
6/3 B1 Canada United States Serbia 400 No
6/3 B1 Belgium Serbia Serbia 4300 Yes
6/4 B1 Belgium United States Serbia 300 No
6/4 B1 Serbia Canada Serbia 5200 Yes
6/2 C1 France Bulgaria Russia 900 No
6/2 C1 Russia Argentina Russia 4100 Yes
6/3 C1 Argentina Bulgaria Russia 1200 No
6/3 C1 France Russia Russia 5800 Yes
6/4 C1 France Argentina Russia 900 No
6/4 C1 Bulgaria Russia Russia 4100 Yes

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