Tonight I had a lecture for the partners of Gothenburg’s leading team in basketball, team Gothia. Basketball is quite a small sport in Sweden.
Gothia plays in our national top league, still only about 400 people goes to see the match. This makes the total turnover of one of our top teams, less than €500,000 a year. Top sports in Sweden are soccer and ice hockey and about 12-14,000 people would see a regular league game in those sports.
I believe that sometimes that is the reason some athletes crash mentally in a big game, they are not used to having 80-100,000 spectators at an event and are probably more intimidated by that than the opponents.
When I was swimming, I always tried to visit the venues a year before the major event to be as prepared as possible. To have seen the arenas full was always a major advantage when I had to perform at my top.