The 2023 Papa Johns Trophy final at Wembley Stadium was the highest attended fixture in Europe this weekend with 79,389 fans in the ground to witness Bolton Wanderers beat Plymouth Argyle, taking the overall attendance for this season’s competition to over 300,000.
It is the second highest attended Papa Johns Trophy final since the new Wembley opened in 2007-08, only topped by 2019’s Final between Portsmouth and Sunderland which attracted 85,021 supporters, and the third highest in the competition’s history, which was established in 1981-82.
The fixture between the two sides from League One had a higher attendance than 2021-22 UEFA Champions League winners, Real Madrid, who took on Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu, the top of the table clash in the Bundesliga between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena, and Italian giants Inter Milan.
The rise in attendances for the Papa Johns Trophy has been reflected across the course of the season with a total of 233,338 fans attending matches this season up to the Semi-Finals, up 3% on the same period last season (226,854).
More widely, attendances across all EFL competitions have increased by 12% this season with more than 14 million supporters having attended fixtures across the 72 clubs in 2022-23.
Season ticket sales are the highest across the leagues in the 21st century, with attendances up across all three divisions. Championship attendances have risen by 13%, League One crowds are up by 7%, while League Two are up by nearly a fifth, experiencing a 19% rise.