Serie A attendances continue to fall, Juventus and Milan see crowds rise

Crowd figures in Serie A have dropped again, according to figures released for the first half of the 2016-17 season.

With an average of 21,833 fans taking in fixtures during the first half of the current Serie A campaign, a drop of 1.7 percent year on year has been recorded with only AC Milan and Juventus bucking the trend with crowd increases.

The figures, published by Il Messaggero, are the lowest in the past five seasons with some of Italy's most supported clubs leading the decline.

Napoli's average gate fell 22.3 percent, arguably due to the sale of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus in the summer, while crowd figures at Roma's Stadio Olimpico dropped 17.8 percent with Giallorossi fans continuing to protest against the controversial division of the Curva Sud for security reasons.

A new record low was set by Crotone, who welcomed just 510 fans to their game against Palermo, although that fixture was played in Pescara while work continued to bring the promoted club's Stadio Ezio Scida up to Serie A standards. Their other two games in Pescara saw just 821 and 522 pass through the gate.

The biggest crowd came in the Milan derby, which was seen by 77,882 fans at the San Siro, followed by Inter vs. Juventus (76,484) and Milan vs. Juventus (75,829).

Away from Milan, the biggest crowd was recorded for Napoli's clash with Sassuolo, with 49,490 fans in attendance at the Stadio San Paolo in December. That was just 6,000 more than the average crowd at AC Milan's home games of 43,595, with their on-field improvement under Vincenzo Montella reflected in the number of fans returning to watch their games -- up 12.8 percent on last season.

Visitors to the Juventus Stadium increased by 3.8 percent, meanwhile, with the venue almost always sold out for home fans and fluctuations mainly due to the number of visiting fans present.