Championship Round One attendances: Bradford record highest on opening weekend

Josh McAllister
Keighley Cougars fans Championship SWpix

Photo: John Clifton/SWpix

Bradford Bulls recorded the highest attendance of the opening weekend in the Championship for their clash against Whitehaven at Odsal Stadium.

Mark Dunning’s side claimed a 24-8 victory on Sunday.

Seven players made their debuts – including the likes of Jack Walker, Michael Lawrence and Bodene Thompson.

The Championship outfit were hoping to break the record attendance for an opening game in the second tier of 8,817 – but fell short with 4,878 announced.

Members of the winning England 2021 World Cup Wheelchair team were also in attendance for the clash.

More Championship attendances

Viaplay Sports opened their coverage of the 2023 season on Monday night at Cougar Park to broadcast Keighley’s return to the Championship against favourites Featherstone.

The west Yorkshire outfit recorded an attendance of 2,443 – but fell to a 50-0 defeat to Sean Long’s side.

Opening the 2023 Championship campaign, Barrow hosted Toulouse on Saturday with a crowd of 2,177 at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium.

The French outfit claimed a 24-4 victory with tries from Olly Ashall-Bott, Reubenn Rennie and Benjamin Laguerre.

Elsewhere, 2,101 supporters saw Halifax claim a 26-18 victory on home soil at The Shay.

Swinton recorded the lowest attendance of the opening round with 877 for their return to the Championship. Allan Coleman’s side won promotion back from League 1 via the play-offs last year. The Heywood Road side fell to a 18-6 defeat to Newcastle Thunder.

London Broncos saw a crowd of 1,849 as they fell to a 30-20 defeat to Batley.

Finally, 2,117 attended the LNER Community Stadium as Widnes picked up a 19-12 away victory over York. Ryan Millar, Shane Grady and Ant Walker all scoring four-pointers, while Tom Gilmore kicked a drop-goal in the dying minutes.

It means a total of 16,442 supporters attended a game during the opening round – an average of 2,348 across the seven fixtures. 

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