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Sydney Derbies at ANZ Stadium to Draw Higher Aggregate Crowd than European Derbies

  • The two Sydney Derbies at Stadium Australia likely to surpass aggregate crowd totals for some of Europe’s biggest cross-city derbies.
  • Round 1 Sydney Derby at Stadium Australia 8 October smashed all existing A-League crowd records with an attendance of 61,880.
  • The Round 1 Derby was the fourth highest attended event at Stadium Australia in 2016.
  • Wanderers will host Sydney FC in the third Sydney Derby of the A-League season at Stadium Australia Saturday 18 February.

Julian Keith

CROWDS for the two Sydney Derbies at Stadium Australia this season are likely to surpass the aggregate crowd totals for some of the biggest cross-city Derbies in European football.

Following the phenomenal success of the Round 1 Derby, which smashed all existing A-League crowd records when 61,880 fans walked through the turnstiles, the Western Sydney Wanderers will host their fierce cross-Sydney rivals Sydney FC again on Saturday 18 February.

A crowd of 38,120 will give the Wanderers an aggregate of 100,000 – a higher two-game crowd aggregate in 2015/16 than was recorded by the famous North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham (95,822) and the Merseyside Derby between Liverpool and Everton (83,542).

A crowd on 18 February that rivals the 61,880 would take the Wanderers’ two-game aggregate crowd past the legendary Old Firm Derby in Scotland, Celtic v Rangers (109,165) and into the stratosphere of the Manchester Derby between Manchester City and Manchester United (129,886).

Sydney FC hosts the second Sydney Derby of season 2016/17 at Moore Park on Saturday 14 January.

Then all eyes will be on Derby III at Stadium Australia on 18 February.

The historic first Sydney Derby at Stadium Australia on Saturday 8 October set a new benchmark for A-League attendances.

The 61,880 crowd figure comfortably eclipsed the previous A-League regular-season record of 50,333 – and even soared past the previous benchmark for Finals of 55,436. The Round 1 blockbuster at Stadium Australia cemented the A-League Sydney Derby as one of Australia’s biggest sporting rivalries.

Passionate supporter groups the RBB and The Cove helped create an atmosphere that equalled or bettered any of the great Derby rivalries around the globe.

Sydney FC defender Michael Zullo, playing in his first Sydney Derby, likened the experience to featuring in one of Europe’s oldest rivalries.

“The Sydney Derby at Stadium Australia was world-class on all fronts,” said Zullo.

“We really don’t give enough credit to what the A-League has become and what we’ve built in this country.

“We should be incredibly proud of what we’ve done. Our fans are just as passionate as any of the fans I’ve played in front of overseas.

“One Derby that sticks out to me was our match when I played for Utrecht against Ajax – and that’s got 100 years of history behind it – yet the Stadium Australia Derby was just as fierce.”

Socceroos great and FOX Sports commentator Mark Bosnich remarked during the broadcast that he never expected to see an A-League game of this magnitude.

“I never thought in my lifetime I’d see a record attendance like this at an A-League club game,” he said.

The new record looks even more impressive when put in the context of Sydney’s biggest sporting events of the year.

The Sydney Derby was the fourth highest attended event at Stadium Australia in 2016, sitting below only the NRL Grand Final (83,625), State of Origin I (80,251) and Bledisloe Cup (65,328).


  • 83,625  NRL Grand Final: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v Melbourne Storm (2 Oct);
  • 80,251  State of Origin I: NSW Blues v Queensland Maroons (1 June);
  • 65,328  Bledisloe Cup: Qantas Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks (20 Aug);
  • 61,880  Sydney A-League Derby:  Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC (8 Oct);
  • 61,267  State of Origin III: NSW Blues v Queensland Maroons (13 July);
  • 61,247  College Football Sydney Cup: University of California, Berkeley v  University of Hawaii (27 Aug);
  • 60,222  AFL Finals: Sydney Swans v GWS GIANTS (10 Sep);
  • 40,815  Football Classic: Liverpool Legends v Australian Legends (7 Jan);
  • 38,682 Socceroos v Greece (4 June);
  • 38, 192 South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (25 Mar);
  • 36,112 Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels (28 Mar)
  • 31,815 Parramatta Eels v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (29 Apr).

Why not lock in a Corporate Seat to watch the third Sydney Derby in style with clients/friends at Stadium Australia on Saturday 18 February. Details here.

Or sign up as an Stadium Australia Member and be allocated a premium seat for the Derby – and every single event at Stadium Australia in 2017, including the massive Arsenal In Sydney Tour blockbusters: Arsenal v Sydney FC on Thursday 13 July, and Western Sydney Wanderers at Stadium Australia on Saturday 15 July. Details here.

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