Sydney fans celebrate after the round one match between Collingwood and Sydney at the MCG, March 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

THE AFL has broken its all-time crowd record for a single round of football, with more than 413,000 people attending the nine games in round one.

The crowd for Fremantle's match against Brisbane on Sunday evening took the round tally to 413,405 spectators, surpassing the previous record of 400,401 for round one, 2017.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest crowds of the weekend came at the MCG, with the Carlton v Richmond, Collingwood v Sydney and Essendon v Hawthorn games all surpassing 70,000 fans.


The crowd of 83,881 on Thursday night was Carlton's 10th biggest home crowd in its history and its third-highest ever against Richmond, while the 78,933 who watched the Swans beat the Magpies on Friday night was the biggest crowd Sydney/South Melbourne has ever played in front of for a home-and-away match. It was also Collingwood's biggest ever home crowd against a non Victorian opponent, beating the previous mark of 71,463 set against the Swans last year.

The Bombers v Hawks game (73,805) was the third-best attended ever between the two clubs and the best since 2017.

The crowd of 39,352 for Geelong's tight win over St Kilda at the redeveloped GMHBA Stadium was the sixth-highest on record at the venue and the highest there in more than 40 years (the record is 49,107 set way back in 1952).

Joel Selwood before the round one match between Geelong and St Kilda at GMHBA Stadium on March 16, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The record number comes despite the relatively low crowds for the Giants v Kangaroos at Engie Stadium (8,034) and Suns v Crows at People First Stadium (11,466 on a night of heavy rain).

Both Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast enjoyed home crowds of more than 20,000 last week when a total of 116,700 fans attended the four games in Opening Round.

"For us to then go into round one and get four really big crowds at the MCG, nearly 40,000 people at Geelong and then a great crowd (in Adelaide) yesterday and also over 40,000 in WA, we're really happy," AFL CEO Andrew Dillon said in Adelaide on Monday.

"It worked really well being able to have our season launch in Sydney and get a real focus on the game in New South Wales and Queensland.


"We had the four sell-out crowds, but also pleasingly our membership for the Swans and the Giants and the Suns and the Lions are all double-digit percentages ahead year-on-year, including the Giants over 30 per cent ahead. So it has been really successful."

Dillon said all games in Adelaide and surrounds for Gather Round, which this year runs from April 4-7, are now officially sell-outs - although more than 1000 tickets across the nine games will be re-released on Thursday.

"The reason for the tickets coming back is some members who had taken them up weren't going to be here, and then some corporate tickets (were) been returned," Dillon said.

Top 5 attended rounds of all time

Rd 1 2024 - 413,405
Rd 1 2017 - 400,401
Rd 3 2018 - 393,537
Rd 1 2023 - 392,248
Rd 5 2017 - 391,980

Crowds in Round 1, 2024

Carlton v Richmond at the MCG - 83,881
Collingwood v Sydney at the MCG - 78,933
Essendon v Hawthorn at the MCG - 73,805
Greater Western Sydney v North Melbourne - 8,034
Geelong v St Kilda - 39,352
Gold Coast v Adelaide - 11,466
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs - 44,100
Port Adelaide v West Coast - 33,230
Fremantle v Brisbane - 40,604