2 Jun 2013

Why the days of record football crowds are gone

It may surprise football fans to learn that the Maracana – venue for today’s Brazil-England friendly – seats just 78,000, when in 1950 the stadium held at least 200,000 spectators.

We may never again see the sort of huge crowds recorded at the 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay, at Rio’s Maracana stadium.

The graphic below reveals some of the huge attendances that were the norm at football matches in the middle years of the 20th century – and how the demands of safety and comfort have reduced those numbers into the 21st century.