December 21 - It was a landmark year for British sport and it attracted attendances to match, with more than 75 million spectators squeezing through the turnstiles at United Kingdom professional sports events in 2012, according to analysis by Deloitte, the professional services firm.
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games contributed 11 million of this total, with the two rugby codes adding a further seven million between them and horseracing/equestrian accounting for another 6.5 million.
Much the most popular sport for live attendances, however, was football with 42.2 million spectators, well over half the national total for all professional sports.
While tennis contributed a comparatively small 900,000 to this overall tally, Wimbledon was the best-attended UK professional sporting event apart from the Olympics/Paralympics in 2012, attracting crowds totalling 485,000 over the tournament's 13-day duration.
Deloitte's list of top 10 attended UK sporting events excluded free events.
The firm noted that, of events with free admission, the London Marathon attracted an estimated one million spectators each year.
Dan Jones, partner in Deloitte's Sports Business Group said: "The British public's appetite for attending sporting events, in absolute terms and relative to its population size, is unmatched anywhere in the world."
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