Aficionados International

Is bullfighting in decline?

Bullfighting is the second most popular mass spectacle in Spain

Excerpt from “How To Watch a Bullfight” by Tristan Wood: “Animal rights organizations have far more developed links with the media than does the bullfighting world and it is consequently easy to get the impression that the bullfight is an outdated and cruel spectacle, receiving less and less support in its birthplace Spain. Some lobbyists even claim that it is only spectating tourists who keep the event alive. Recent moves to ban the bullfighting in Spain’s Catalan region have received worldwide publicity and have been regarded by some commentators as the first step towards banning bullfighting everywhere

In fact, up until the recent economic crisis, bullfighting had been on a steady growth path in Spain and France. In Spain alone, the numbers grew from 145 corridas (events featuring professional matadors) in 1950 to 962 in 2007. Even the number of lower category novilladas con picadors (featuring aspiring Matadors known as novilleros and younger bulls ) amounted to 570 in 2007, compared to the 204 in 1947 when  novillada events were first recorded. “
Bullfighting is the second most popular spectator pastime in Spain with some 40 million seats sold over the course of a year (2007).