rockalt wrote:Per, out of curiosity which is bigger in Sweden today, soccer or hockey? You seem to have had pretty big stars and success in both sports.
About equally big, I tend to say that soccer is bigger in southern Sweden and hockey in northern Sweden.
If you look at attendance at games in the top league, the average for soccer was 7210 last season and 5709 for hockey. But there are more hockey games than soccer games in a season, so total attendance was 1,883,192 for hockey compared to 1,730,357 for soccer.
Now, AIK of Stockholm have teams in various sports, and both their soccer and their hockey team play in the top league. Average attendance at their soccer games was 14,311 last season but a mere 4,998 at hockey games. Likewise, the top soccer team in Gothenburg (IFK Göteborg) draws an average crowd of 10,493 spectators while the best hockey team (Frölunda) averages 8,588.
On the other hand the two northernmost cities to have teams in Allsvenskan, Sweden's top soccer league also have hockey teams. In Gävle (where I live) the soccer team Gefle IF draws 3,387 spectators, whereas the hockey team Brynäs iF draws 6,227, and in Sundsvall the soccer team IFK Sundsvall draws 4,032 spectators but the hockey team Timrå draws 4,326. Add to this that Sundsvall, the northernmost place to have a soccer team in the top league, is roughly at the middle of Sweden, and that there are three SEL hockey teams further north than that (Modo, Skellefteå and Luleå).
Sweden is currently ranked 21st in the world out of 207 nations by FIFA (Brazil is in 18th, which shows what a joke these ratings are) and 4th by the IIHF (Canada is ranked 5th, which shows what a joke these ratings are).
Now, it's hard to compare, because competition is so much harder in soccer, which is the main team sport in most countries in the world, whereas hockey is more of a fringe sport that is barely heard of outside the vodka belt (Russia, eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Canada).
I personally prefer hockey, but I guess soccer is my second favourite sport, albeit curling is not bad either.....