Japan's NPB registers record 2019 attendance as baseball leagues lead pro sports attendance

Japan's NPB registers record 2019 attendance as baseball leagues lead pro sports attendance
06/02/2020
MLB and the NPB are the top two sports leagues in the world based on overall attendance numbers, followed by the NBA, NHL, NFL and three soccer leagues.

Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, a WBSC Associate Member, enjoyed a record-breaking 2019 with a total of 26,536,962 paying spectators over 856 games (not including the post-season).

NPB came in as the second-highest professional sports league in terms of annual attendance. Major League Baseball led all sports leagues in 2019 with over 68,494,895 million paying spectators over 2,430 games, but NPB had a better attendance by game average (29,300 vs 28,830).

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks won the Japan Series in four games against the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. A total of 163,369 spectators attended the 'final series' games in October.

The third highest sports league for attendance across all sports is the National Basketball Association (NBA; 21,972,129), followed by the National Hockey League (NHL; 21,501,156) and the National Football League (NFL; 17,788,671). The only other leagues that exceed the mark of 10 million paying spectators are all soccer leagues: Premier League in the UK (14,503,954), BundesLiga in Germany (13,298,147) and La Liga in Spain (10,200,458).

A strong performance in terms of attendance also came from the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), another proud WBSC Associate Member. During the 2019 regular season, a total of 7,286,008 paying spectators attended the games of the ten-team league.

The figure places KBO well above any other professional sports league in the country. Soccer (Korea Professional Football League) came second with an overall attendance of 1.49 million, followed by men's basketball (Korean Basketball League) with 930,000 and volleyball (V-League) with 560,000. The Doosan Bears needed only four games to claim the title in the Korean Series against the Kiwoom Heroes. All the games were sold out, attracting a total of 82,000 spectators.

The Chinese Professional Baseball League -- another WBSC Associate Member -- enjoyed a total of 1,398,246 paying spectators, with a 6.76% increase compared to 2018. The growth confirmed a trend that began in 2016.

The CPBL Taiwan Series attracted 85,349 spectators, who saw the Lamigo Monkeys defeat the Chinatrust Brothers in five games.