In terms of UEFA coefficient rankings (and judging by the last few Champions League and Europa League tournaments), the Spanish La Liga is the best football league in Europe. The English Premier League, meanwhile, is incredibly wealthy and is consistently cited as the most fiercely competitive division in all of soccer. While these two leagues boast plenty of virtues, though, there is one key superlative they do not have: the top stadium attendance in Europe.

Germany's Impressive Numbers

Indeed, on February 25th, the German Bundesliga announced its spectator figures for the first half of the 2015/16 campaign. According to the report, a grand total of 6,478,680 soccer fans came out to see the 153 Bundesliga games that took place between August and December 2015. That number figures out to a per-match average of 42,344 spectators-not only the highest tally of any league in Europe but also the highest of any football league in the world.

The Bundesliga statistics from the first half of the current campaign were impressive across the board. According to the stat report, the 42,344 figure is the second-highest per-match attendance average in the history of the league. Just last year, the Bundesliga reached the same benchmark, recording near-all-time attendance averages of 42,155 per match. That the league surpassed that total so quickly sends a clear message: the Bundesliga is growing in fan support.

The overall league-wide totals aren't the only stunning facts to be analyzed here. According to ESPN FC, Borussia Dortmund recorded an average of 81,086 attendees in their first 10 home games of the 2015/16 season. That average makes Dortmund the most well-supported club in European football-at least in terms of attendance. Bayern Munich weren't far behind, regularly selling out home games at Allianz Arena.

Attendance Figures for Other Leagues

To understand just how impressive the Bundesliga figures are, we need to look at how other top leagues throughout Europe are doing when it comes to selling tickets. So far, the Bundesliga is the only league that has shared official numbers about attendance averages for the first half of the 2015/16 season.

However, Inside World Football recorded average attendance stats for each of the "Big Five" European leagues last fall, after the opening few games of the campaign. Those numbers were probably inflated due to their proximity to the start of the season. The Bundesliga, for instance, recorded a 43,358 attendance average during the earliest games of the 2015/16 campaign, but those numbers settled a bit lower as the season went on.

Even if England, Spain, Italy, and France had maintained their early autumn averages, they still wouldn't have gotten even close to the Bundesliga numbers. According to the Inside World Football numbers, the Premier League averaged 36,460 spectators per match. The Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A, and the French Ligue 1 all had averages that fell below 30,000 attendees per match.

The Inside World Football report also ranked clubs by average attendance figures. Borussia Dortmund ranked first, Bayern Munich ranked fourth, and seven other Bundesliga teams made it into the top 20. Barcelona (second), Manchester United (third), and Real Madrid (fifth) rounded out the top five.

Addressing the "Why"

On one hand, these figures are great news for the soccer world as a whole. The Bundesliga attendance averages show that passion for football is alive and well in Germany and doesn't just circulate around the country's largest and most successful organizations. Heck, Hamburger SV, a club that only narrowly avoided relegation last season, was averaging more than 54,000 fans per match toward the beginning of this season-more than Manchester City.

Still, even if these numbers are nothing but good news, they do inspire a raised eyebrow or two. The Bundesliga doesn't have the panoply of stars that you can find in Spanish soccer, nor does it have as much competition as the Premier League. The Bundesliga title race is often seen as a foregone conclusion, with Bayern Munich currently gunning for a fourth straight title. In contrast, the Premier League race is often much less predictable-as evidenced by the current season.

Yet, despite these factors, the Bundesliga is drawing an average of roughly 6,000 more fans per game than the Premier League, and over 10,000 per game more than the Spanish La Liga. Why is the Bundesliga a magnet for fans? What's the secret to Germany's success?

Ticket Prices

At first thought, it seems as if ticket pricing might be playing a role in the disparity between the Bundesliga and the Premier League. England's top-flight league has faced considerable controversy as of late over high ticket prices, leading to a number of high-profile protests and boycotts. On February 6th, 10,000 Liverpool fans walked out of Anfield in the 77th minute game against Anfield, a pointed rebuke of climbing ticket prices.

Fans had a point. Going to soccer games in England is significantly more expensive than going to games elsewhere. As of last September, the average Premier League ticket price was £53.76. La Liga matches weren't much cheaper, clocking in with an average ticket price of £50.83. The Bundesliga, meanwhile, was a clear bargain, with a much lower average price of £23.02.

It's not difficult to see how affordability could be playing a role in getting German football fans to live matches. Based on those averages, a German fan could pay for 2.33 matches for the same amount of money that an English fan would pay to attend one. And if German fans are going to twice as many matches per season as English fans, then that fact alone could explain much of the attendance disparity.

Stadium Sizes

Of course, we also have to address the fact that, on average, German soccer clubs just have bigger home stadiums than the teams from any other leagues. As of 2015, Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park has a capacity of 81,359 for league matches. Bayern's Allianz Arena holds 75,000, Schalke 04's Veltins-Arena fits 62,271, and Hamburger SV's Volksparkstadion has a capacity of 57,000.

In total, Germany has 11 stadiums that hold 50,000 people or more. Spain has seven; England has five; Italy and France both have four. Of course, Barcelona have the biggest stadium in all of Europe, with Camp Nou boasting a capacity of 99,354. But between the loftier ticket prices in England and Spain and the fewer-and-further-between nature of high-capacity stadiums, it's not difficult to see why Germany is pulling in bigger soccer match turnouts than any other country.

How Can England and Spain Catch Up?

The last question is this: can England and Spain catch up with Germany in this race? Or is the Bundesliga destined to be the league that draws the most fans, just like the La Liga seems to be the league that sets all the transfer fee records?

The Premier League could close the gap in the next few years. Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham United, and Tottenham Hotspur are all planning renovation projects that will add capacity to their stadiums. With a new multi-billion pound television broadcasting deal set to go into effect at the start of the 2016/17 season, Premier League clubs will have a newfound windfall of cash, which could lead to even more renovation projects in the future.

But even with higher capacity, will England be able to fill the seats the way Bundesliga clubs have? Or will the league's notoriously high ticket prices alienate fans and drive England's attendance averages down? After all, with such a high-profile broadcasting deal going into effect, fans will have plenty of options for skipping the tickets, staying home, and watching matches on television.

What do you think? If you support a Premier League or La Liga football club, will you keep up your attendance even if ticket prices continue to increase? Do you think higher stadium capacities would encourage you to go to more matches, or would your event-going habits stay more or less the same?

At Soccer Box, we want to hear your opinions and thoughts on the matter. Find us on social media today to talk about the Bundesliga's sky-high attendance numbers and how England, Spain, France, and Italy can follow Germany's example to get more people coming to games. We are regularly active on multiple social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.