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National Football Museum Hits One Million Visitors

Two years after opening the museum is already pulling in 500k a year

Published on October 16th 2014.

National Football Museum Hits One Million Visitors

THE National Football Museum has welcomed its one millionth visitor this week - just over two years since opening at the Urbis Building in Cathedral Gardens.

"Visitors are coming from across the globe and we will continue build on our success, as the most popular stand-alone sports museums in the world."

The museum, which opened in Manchester in July 2012, has trumped all expectations in terms of visitor numbers – welcoming 100,000 visitors in just six weeks, 350,000 visitors after nine months, 500,000 in just over a year and now, an impressive one million people have walked through the turnstiles.

At roughly 500,000 visitors a year, the National Football Museum is the third most popular visitor attraction in all of Greater Manchester (based on last year's statistics), behind The Lowry in Salford Quays with over 800,000 visitors a year, and the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) which draws around 650,000.

The Coronation Street tour is sure to put up a good performance in the next batch of Manchester visitor numbers (released in a few weeks). The tour attracted 100,000 Corrie fans within two months of opening in March 2014. 

NFM at the UrbisNFM at the Urbis




The National Football Museum combines state-of-the-art interactive games and touring exhibitions with its vast archive of rare football artefacts, including The FIFA Collection - 'the finest single collection of football memorabilia in the world'. Oh and Fulham's reject statue of Michael Jackson.

Museum director Kevin Moore said: "We are absolutely delighted to have hit the one-million visitor mark in a little over two years. We are proud to be contributing so positively to Manchester’s economy; visitors are coming from across the globe and we will continue build on our success, as the most popular stand-alone sports museums in the world."


NFM, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, M4 3BG. 0161 605 8200.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2014.

Wonder how the Coronation St tour holds up with the 3 attractions mentioned here? From what I read it can't be far off in terms of visitor numbers and it's not free to enter as the other 3 attractions are. I hope the idea of knocking it down in the near future has disappeared.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 16th 2014.

Nope....it needs to go or at least moved to the Quays...

AnonymousOctober 16th 2014.

I really don't get the attraction of this museum of old footballs, not to mention some of the other weird things they have in there (see Gazza puppet thing above). URBIS was dull but this is even duller. A waste of a good building.

AnonymousOctober 17th 2014.

So places that attract 500,000 non paying visitors in a year can stay, but a place that attracts almost the same amount of paying customers has to move? It's beyond crazy to even think of moving this. I don't watch the programme, I don't watch any soaps but it's proved to be a massive success. As well as the standard tour it's now offering a special Halloween tour featuring people who appeared on the show. It's held a handful of weddings attracting people from all over the country to get married here. It has so many uses and I'm sure people involved in Manchester's tourism industry will agree with me. It has to stay, but it wouldn't surprise me to see some some bland hotel, bars and an office built here so someone can get a nice little backhander.

DarrenOctober 17th 2014.

3RD Anon, whilst you may not like football you must see the attraction it holds for people who do like it? It's the most popular sport in the world. It tells the history of the World Cup something fans from around the world find interesting. I don't watch soaps but I can't argue with the visitor numbers the Coronation Street tour gets just because I don't like it, likewise the NFM is getting plenty of visitors.

AnonymousOctober 17th 2014.

The football ball museum is perfect for Preston and the Cornation Strret tour is tacky and cheap (except it isn't I've heard).

2 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkOctober 20th 2014.

Someone please translate...

AnonymousOctober 20th 2014.

The article's about 'soccer'. Does that make sense now?

AnonymousOctober 19th 2014.

How does 500,000 visitors make the football museum the third visitor biggest attraction in Greater Manchester? The Etihad pulls in 850,000 visitors for City's home matches alone. Old Trafford beats that by a long way and the arena at Victoria Station must be up there. Dunham Park claims 500,000 visitors.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SketchyOctober 19th 2014.

Nope. Dunham claims 230,987 in 2013. www.alva.org.uk/details.cfm… I think arenas and sports stadiums aren't considered to be visitor attractions. Possibly because they're only venues for events, rather than comprising an attraction in themselves.

EditorialOctober 20th 2014.

Marketing Manchester visitor stats don't include stadiums and arenas. The top 10 only includes "accredited multi-purpose venues" (their words). Dunham was in the top ten last time around, but isn't up there with NFM. We'll be publishing new stats soon. Hope this helps.

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