Who Watched Sports in Ancient Greece?

When we think of ancient Greece, we often imagine the great philosophers, poets, and warriors that shaped Western civilization. However, the Greeks were also known for their love of sports.

From running and wrestling to chariot racing and javelin throwing, sports played an integral role in Greek society. But who actually watched these sporting events

The Wealthy Elite

In ancient Greece, only the wealthy elite had the time and resources to attend sporting events. They would sit in special areas reserved for them, known as the “VIP” section. These seats were often made of marble and were situated at the front of the stadium or arena.

The wealthy elite also had a vested interest in sports. They would often sponsor athletes or teams in order to gain more prestige and influence within their community. Winning an Olympic event was seen as a great honor and could lead to increased wealth and power.

The Common People

While the common people didn’t have access to the VIP section, they still enjoyed watching sports. They would stand or sit on the grassy slopes surrounding the stadium or arena, known as “the hill”. These areas were free to attend but didn’t offer any amenities like seating or shade.

Despite their lower social status, the common people still had a deep appreciation for athleticism and competition. They would often gather together with friends or family to watch sporting events and cheer on their favorite athletes.

Athletes Themselves

It’s worth noting that many athletes also attended sporting events as spectators. They would watch their competitors closely in order to learn from them and gain an edge in future competitions.

Athletes also enjoyed being cheered on by fans during their events. It was seen as a great honor to have the support of the crowd, and many athletes would try to perform their best in order to win over the hearts of the spectators.


In conclusion, while sports in ancient Greece were enjoyed by a wide range of people, it was primarily the wealthy elite who had access to prime viewing locations and had a vested interest in the outcomes of competitions. The common people may not have had access to such luxuries, but they still found joy in watching sports and supporting their favorite athletes.