Racing's crown jewels among best attended sports events of 2017
Horseracing provided four of the top ten best-attended sporting events in the UK in 2017 according to analysis by the Deloitte Sports Business Group.
More than half of the leading ten events in 2017 were horseracing or equestrian-based, with Royal Ascot coming out top in the category with total attendance of 294,000 over five days, putting it in in third place behind Wimbledon and the Formula One British Grand Prix.
The Cheltenham Festival was fourth with 260,000 attending, while the Derby at Epsom and Grand National at Aintree were ninth and tenth with 150,000 and 140,000 respectively.
Sports Business Group director Alan Switzer said: "The UK public clearly has an enduring love of horseracing, with around six million racegoers in 2017.
"The industry should be buoyed by the fact that Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival and the Epsom Derby continue to be some of the highlights of the UK sporting calendar.
"That said, the second-most popular sport in the UK is not complacent; this year’s move to ITV is just one example of a move to broaden interest across the population and it continues to innovate in order to remain attractive to younger spectators."
In terms of overall sporting attendances, horseracing and equestrianism were second in the rankings, attracting crowds of 7.5m, two million ahead of rugby union.
The most well-attended sport continues to be football, with 47.6m fans going through the turnstiles, a five per cent increase on 2016.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com