League officials in Italy, hoping for renewed enthusiasm in the country's domestic soccer league following this summer's World Cup triumph, will be disappointed to hear that fewer and fewer spectators
are attending Serie A matches, according to a study conducted by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. The average crowd for a Serie A match has fallen to 19,511, a worrying figure compared to a
peak average of 31,161 eight years ago. In fact, this is the lowest average figure for league attendances since the 1970s, and the declines are in stark contrast to rising attendances in both England
and Spain's domestic leagues. However, when you consider the perseverance of smaller clubs in Serie A in recent years, the declines seem less surprising. Four of Serie A's 20 clubs, Ascoli, Empoli,
Livorno, and Siena play in stadiums with a capacity of less than 20,000. A further three, Atalanta, Cagliari, and Catania Calcio, play in stadiums with less than 25,000, while Parma, Reggina, and
Torino's stadiums are under 28,000. Add to that the drop of such storied clubs as Juventus, the largest team in Italy (thanks to the recent Calciopoli scandal), Napoli, Piacenza, Bologna and Perugia
(which dissolved due to financial troubles) and it's easy to see why Serie B's attendances have grown 20 percent, while Serie A's continue to dwindle.
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