As a Waterford man living in Cork one cannot be but impressed at the attitude Leesiders have towards their sports teams. Each spring Cork fans are probably the only ones in the country with realistic hopes that they can win both the Senior All-Ireland Football and Hurling Championships. Their annual stroll in the ladies football equivalent is twinned with a fighting chance in the camogie (women’s hurling) championship, meaning that in any given year all four titles do have an outside chance of coming to the Rebel County.
League of Ireland fans will know Cork City aren’t doing too badly either. This season has probably been the best since the title winning season of 2005, with the Rebels just behind leaders Dundalk as the title race reaches its conclusion.
While the soccer team is probably viewed as somewhat of a lesser brand when compared to the hurlers (especially in the city), here’s something to think about.
Assuming Cork bring 60% of the fans to each game (based on the fact they probably have a bigger fan base than most of the counties they played this year) this means just under 103,000 people supported Cork at their five championship games this summer. If we assumed a 50/50 split in the crowd, this number falls to 85,791.
Fans of League of Ireland will know the supporter split at domestic games is far more unbalanced. I would estimate at the average game 90% of those attending are supporting the home team. Using this base, we can assume that just over 46,000 fans have supported Cork City in Turners Cross this season.
That's a ratio of just above 1:2 in favour of the hurlers. Given the elite nature of inter-county senior hurling, the limited number of games the Cork Senior Hurlers play and the value placed on the Munster Senior Hurling Title and All-Ireland Senior Hurling title by Irish society, Cork City are doing very well to keep the ratio so close.
It’s unlikely we will ever see 1:1 unless Cork City qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League but we might be waiting a little while for that to happen.