Sport has grown its leisure share in 2018 by posting attendance and spending records. Key to growth is the number of Millennials going to live sport. Full data analysis and story: https://t.co/cH5QsOcFRf pic.twitter.com/AKsfzHLilZ— Two Circles (@TwoCirclesSport) November 26, 2018
Millennials and younger audiences are the "driving force behind a strong growth in attendances at sports events," boosting a U.K. industry that has "thrived since" London 2012, according to Murad Ahmed of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The number of people buying tickets for sports events across the country is expected to reach 74.5 million in '18, "not including one-off fixtures," up from 63 million six years ago when the London Games "helped to convert more Britons into watchers of live sport." The research by Two Circles "is based on the declared attendance figures" for regular annual professional sports events in the U.K. It shows that crowds have risen 2.8% on a yearly basis since '12. The surge "is due in large part to young people passing through the turnstiles of Britain’s stadiums in ever larger numbers." They do so, despite TV broadcasters "becoming concerned that millennial audiences are unwilling to sit through live sports matches for long periods," thanks to distractions from social media and on-demand entertainment such as Netflix. Two Circles co-Founder Gareth Balch said, "It is well-documented that millennials are the first postwar generation that are less wealthy than the generation before. That has caused those individuals to have a different psychology about how they invest their time and money." The research showed that the percentage of ticket buyers aged between 16 and 24 for U.K. sports events was 23% this year, up from 15% in '12. The number of millennials -- born between '81 and '96 -- attending sport has increased to 21% this year, up from 16% in '12 (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/25).