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Etisalat Pro-League Match Attendances on the Increase

The number of fans who attended the first half of the Etisalat Pro-League's current 2010-2011 season was 31.7% more than the same period last season, with 232,429 spectators attending matches compared to 176,391 spectators in 2009-2010.

The average attendance per game in the first half of this season was 3,576 spectators, compared to the average attendance of 2,675 per game for the first half of last season. These figures also show a steady growth compared to the first season of the Etisalat Pro-League in 2008-2009, which saw an average 2,411 spectators per match and 159,108 in total for the first half of the season.

Round 7 of the Etisalat Pro-League this season registered the highest number of fans, with 38,680 spectators across the six matches. This was followed by Round 10, which achieved 29,717 across the six home stadiums.

These figures have been undoubtedly boosted by the strong home crowds achieved by Al Jazira this season thanks to the Club's dedicated marketing campaigns designed to attract fans. They are leading the way with 75,796 spectators in total attending their five home games at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium. This is an average of 15,159 spectators per match.

"Al Jazira have had great success this season in attracting spectators to their matches and they are undoubtedly pioneering the way for other clubs when it comes to attracting fans," said Carlo Nohra, UFL CEO.

"It is important for all clubs understand that success off the pitch is just as important as success on the pitch, and they must therefore work to develop plans and implement campaigns that will attract more football fans to their stands."

Al Wasl has so far this season achieved the second highest average crowd attendance with 5,146 per match. This is followed by Al Ain who has attracted an average of 4,588 per match in their six home games. In fourth position is Al Wahda with an average of 4,580, then Al Ahli with 3,620, followed by Bani Yas with 2,583, Al Nasr with 2,164, Al Shabab with 1,546, Sharjah with 1,501, Al Dhafra with 1,274, Dubai with 1,013 and lastly Kalba with an average of 736 spectators per game.

The most improved club from last season in terms of spectator numbers thus far is Al Wasl who has managed to attract a much greater number of fans to its matches. Al Wasl has had an increase of 250+%, with total fan numbers increasing from 7,208 in the first five matches of 2009/2010, to 25,729 spectators in their first five home matches this season.

"Whilst it's encouraging to see that attendance figures have increased so far this season, we have a lot of work ahead of us if we are to continue to improve on this trend and start to build a strong, loyal fan base for the Etisalat Pro-League. This can only be achieved by encouraging more of our existing fans to attend actual matches, whilst also expanding our net to a wider target market that includes the expatriate, female and family audiences," said Carlo Nohra.