The 2019 International Swimming League season culminates this week with the Grand Final in Las Vegas The league’s inaugural season has proven a hit with spectators with an average attendance of 88 percent capacity across the six regular season matches.
The season started in Indianapolis in early October, then moved on to Naples, Dallas and Budapest the same month, before the U.S. derby in Washington, D.C. and the European derby in London in November.
With venue capacities ranging from 1,000 in U.S. venues to almost 5,000 in certain European venues, the high average attendance has been an added bonus during a start-up season that has seen experts in television, digital media and sports entertainment come together for the first time to provide a compelling backdrop for swimmers with cutting-edge production, a live show and fan engagement over two hours each day.
Tickets have been priced as low as 5 USD at the Dune Arena in Budapest up to 60 USD in Washington. For the Grand Final in Las Vegas, ticket prices are between 45 to 100 USD. (Tickets are available here: https://www.axs.com/events/386824/2019-international-swimming-league-championship-finale-tickets?skin=mandalaybay).
The swimmers have reacted very favourably to the added fan engagement.
“As I expected, it was very special to race here in Duna Arena with team Iron,” said Iron captain Katinka Hosszu after her team surged in front of a home crowd in Budapest. “It definitely has been really special.”
“The meets are incredibly fun and fast paced,” said Olympic gold medalist Townley Haas of the Cali Condors. “(The ISL) is the first organization to make the fan experience fun. The ISL has the potential to completely change the way the sport of swimming is seen.”
London Roar head coach Melanie Marshall even credited the hometown crowd in London for providing her team a boost in the water.
“You heard the crowd in here tonight and how much that lifted us,” Marshall said after the European Derby. “On paper we maybe shouldn’t have gotten as close to Energy Standard as we did tonight, but that was all through everybody’s character and stepping up, and the crowd lifting us.”
Her star swimmer Adam Peaty, an Olympic gold medalist and World Record holder, echoed her sentiments. “The crowd is so important. This is what the sport has needed for so long. I hope that passion can build through future seasons.”