Battle of the alps: Why football is more popular in Switzerland than in Austria

Switzerland always likes to compare itself with close neighbour Austria. Concerning crowd sizes, football in Switzerland was way more successfull in the last years than in Austria.

With comparable populations and a similar topography, Switzerland and Austria have more than a few similarities. This leads to a rivality in Sports where Schadenfreude is often not far away.

In the past, the crowd sizes in the highest Austrian and Swiss football leage were mostly quite similar. The turning point came with the European Championship 2008 that took part in both countries.

Swiss football did profit immensly from this big event. In the wake of it, SFV did imply tougher infrastructre rules for football clubs if they want to play in the highest league. As a result, new stadiums were popping up everywhere, boosting the crowd sizes to unseen hights.

In Austria, no such effect took place. As the animated chart clearly shows, the gap widens after 2008. The crowd sizes in Austria declined, and only a few new stadiums were created.

Today, the gap is huge. In the last season, the crowd size was almost twice as big in Switzerland as in Austria. But to be fair, it has to be mentioned, that in Switzerland the crowd sizes is measured by the amount of tickets sold. In Austria, however, in most cases, they count the amount of fans present in the stadium.

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