Australian Olympic Trials Had 16,700 Fans Across 6 Days: Most Since Pre-Covid

Swimming Australia is boasting a large global audience for its 2024 Swimming Trials meet earlier this month,

16,700 fans turned the turnstiles across six days of competition. That is the highest attendance at an Australian championship meet since before the COVID-19 pandemic. That included two sold out nights on Friday and Saturday, which seats 4,300 spectators in its parallel grandstands.

Swimming Australia says that the meet averaged 631,000 television viewers for finals sessions with an estimated total reach of over 5.7 million viewers. About 93% of those watched on a traditional linear television network 9Now, while the rest watched On Demand.

Australia’s trials were viewable globally, unlike in the US where finals sessions were available only in America and select other countries without bootleg legs or VPN connections. The international viewership was enough for Swimming Australia to acknowledge audiences in the USA, UK, and India in its press release about the popularity of the event.

Other Data

  • There were 20,100 mentions globally on TV, 8,500 on the radio, and 500 print articles.
  • There were an estimated 3,500 mentions on X
  • Engagement increased on Instagram by 1,896% and on Facebook by 1,823%.

At the conclusion of the meet, Australian named 44 swimmers to its Olympic Team, including 10 from Dean Boxall’s training group, and 30 to its Paralympic Team.

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Genevieve Nnaji
22 days ago

Wait, swimming is not the most popular sports in Australia?

So why do Americans keep saying swimming is the most popular sports in Australia?

Reply to  Genevieve Nnaji
22 days ago

Just looking for excuses/cover stories

Personal Best
22 days ago

Numbers aside, I don’t know if Swimming Australia has figured out what to do with the trials since they split them from nationals.

As these are purely a trials, B finals seem redundant… what’s the point when they’re held at nationals?
At least here they are at the end of the program. I get they provide more opportunity for younger swimmers, but younger swimmers literally had nationals and age nationals in the lead up, and at nationals C finals that are age based.

The entry lists are far too large for a trials. I know this sounds harsh, but the qual times should have been made tougher. For instance, if someone’s swimming a 2:20 in the men’s breaststroke, they’re… Read more »

Reply to  Personal Best
22 days ago

So US trials had more entrants, but you think ours had too many. We wont get depth with fewer entrants. B finals are for international swimmers who train here, and up and comers. Its great for the sport to have overseas entrants

Personal Best
Reply to  Skip
22 days ago

Sure – I get what B Finals are for.
But this is a Trials, which is distinct to our Nationals.

The sole purpose of Trials is to qualify for the international event, make the team.

I’m saying given they already split trials and nationals… there’s no need to replicate the format between the two. This is in response to other posters saying that Aussie Trials weren’t great from a spectator perspective.

And yeah, I do believe were a lot of entrants. Again, this is a Trials… not Nationals. Different purpose altogether.

If Nationals and Trials were combined, as they had been in the past… sure, have more entrants and age based finals. Those televised events were a… Read more »

Reply to  Personal Best
22 days ago

The B finals were either at the end of the session or placed in a spot where the broadcaster wanted to insert ads or other content so I don’t get the fuss.

Reply to  Personal Best
22 days ago

Nationals was televised, just not on the prime time channel, it was on the app

22 days ago

Sell out on two nights is good actually – you can’t sell more than that. Chandler is a bit of a drive from the city by the way. It is winter too so pretty cold outside – cold for Queenslanders anyway. And it was not school holidays.

Last edited 22 days ago by Joel
22 days ago

How can this be? Swimming in Australia is the same as NFL right? And it’s not popular at all in USA right? I don’t understand!

watching alone
22 days ago

We’re all just whistling past the graveyard of sport popularity naivete.(sp?)

I read an article in my local U.S. paper this morning about a local Cricket organization, along the lines of an LSC (Local Swim Committee). 75 “teams”, 30 “clubs” and 650 players, with organized games year round. We complain about 4 hour age group meet sessions. In Cricket, if you are one of the early batters you can be out within 5 minutes and not see real action again in a game that commonly lasts 5 hours and more.

The article was triggered by the response to a win by the US-under 20 squad against Pakistan earlier this month, a happening some are referring to as one of the… Read more »

Ryan Heath
22 days ago

This is some dumb spin. The in-person crowd was embarrassingly small, including because they held the trials at a VERY inconvenient pool. And I don’t what this claim is about being able to watch internationally … I had to use a VPN to access it from the U.S.

Beginner Swimmer at 25
23 days ago

Proof that swimming is by far the most popular sport in Australia 🤯

The Magic Man
Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
23 days ago

That is like 2.5k people per day lol. High school football games in the US have way more than that haha

Reply to  The Magic Man
22 days ago

(I think they were being sarcastic)

23 days ago

I thought Australia swim fans would be a little more prideful

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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