How many people usually attend the Grand National? What is Aintree’s capacity?

Aintree hosts three days of racing during the Grand National Festival, which culminates in the big race on the Saturday

Grand National attendance


Being able to watch the Grand National from Aintree isn’t something we can do in 2021 due to coronavirus restrictions but during ‘normal times’ thousands of horse racing betting fans flood the racecourse for this spectacular Festival.

The Grand National isn’t just about one race – there are three days of elite-level National Hunt horse racing before the ultimate, 30-jump showdown on the Saturday.

And fans who get tickets for the Grand National are usually in for a wild time. Here, Paddy Power explains everything you need to know about Grand National attendances in our latest ‘Demystifying Racing’ guide…

How many people watch the Grand National?

It is estimated 10 million people watch the Grand National online and on TV in the UK each year. Globally, the Grand National viewing figures are thought to hit around 500 million. That is a big draw for British and Irish racing and organisers make sure the Festival runs smoothly in order to keep those international broadcasters happy.

Grand National attendance

150,000 people usually attend the Grand National Festival (GETTY)

How many Grand National tickets are sold?

While 10 million racing betting fans watch the Grand National at home, around 70,000 lucky punters manage to buy Grand National tickets and attend the race live. Aintree can cater for this number of spectators thanks to its enormous grandstands and wide open spaces. Tickets range from basic ground passes to elite VIP suites within the grandstand.

Grand National attendance figures

While a large chunk of Grand National Festival goers choose to attend on the Saturday of the three-day event, there are still thousands who rock up at Aintree to enjoy the horse racing on the Thursday and Friday.

Thursdays usually attracts around 33,000 spectators outside of Covid restrictions and provides a basis from which the Festival builds until the big race on the Saturday. Friday is Ladies Day, with 50,000 tickets usually available for punters. In 2018 Ladies Day tickets sold out and there were over 49,000 at the racecourse on the same day a year later.

In total around 150,000 fans attend the Grand National Festival over its three-day duration, making it one of the biggest horse racing events on the planet. Only the likes of Cheltenham (250,000 over four days) and the Melbourne Cup (105,000 on Cup day) can rival the Grand National for annual spectators.



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