4.10. 14:58 | Updated 4.10. 22:41
Football in the men’s Veikkausliiga, decision moments are played, but it is not visible in the number of spectators.
Fighting for the championship, HJK drew just 1,017 spectators to its home ground against SJK on Sunday. Honka from Espoo, who played in the lower playoffs, managed to attract 265 people to the venue when IFK Mariehamn stood up.
HIFK has played their previous home game on 18 September, when IFK Mariehamn suffered a 0-3 loss to 1,477 spectators.
Kuopio Palloseura, which is also fighting for the championship, attracted 1,537 spectators to the Ilves match, when there were 2,911 supporters in the HIFK match that ended the regular season a week earlier.
Veikkausliiga like other sports series, they have suffered from coronavirus restrictions, and it is only from the beginning of October that the auditorium has become full.
However, there have been no problems with sufficient capacity throughout the summer, as in the Stad derby, for example, the encounter between HJK and HIFK was followed by only 4,650 spectators.
Honka’s home games have seen more than a thousand spectators only once during the entire season, with 1,191 people interested in HJK’s visit on September 19th.
Hongan manager Hexi Arteva says there are three reasons for the weak figures.
“The numbers don’t lie. We are known to have the weakest conditions in the Veikkausliiga, traditionally difficult to get an audience. Match event marketing has been looking for its way, ”says Arteva.
“Circumstances and Korona are part of the reasons, the third part is game success. There is no bet in the lower final because the euro play off was canceled at an early stage, ”he continues, referring to the chances of the lower final winner getting to play from a place on European pitches.
Arteva believes it will be a moment before people’s confidence returns to being safe to attend sporting events.
There is no promise of a turn for the better for the rest of the season.
“Marketing, this is nothing to do for the season. After the season, an analysis is done and we move towards a new season. ”
There will be no major improvement in conditions in the next few years. Arteva believes the new stadium will be completed in 2024.
“There are no flashes of light here before.”
Veikkausliiga managing director Timo Marjamaa also sees the abandonment of the Euro Final as problematic for the so-called challenger series, ie the lower final teams.
KTP drops out of the series, and AC Oulu is strongly in the qualifying position. The stakes are low for many teams.
“There is no athletic tension,” Marjamaa reflects.
“Last season was exceptional, and this season is also strongly influenced by Korona.”
“In many other sports, the number of viewers is lagging behind previous years. Individual events, such as concerts, can return faster than longer ones, such as sports. ”
There was no explanation for HJK’s weak number of spectators in the opening match of the upper series.
“They have had a certain backlog in the Veikkausliiga, even though they have been in the European games.”
HJK and HIFK did not reply to HS’s requests for contact.