This weekend saw what is still considered to be one of the greatest English sporting rivalries, Manchester United vs Liverpool, described as a pub game of “Dog and Duck versus The Red Lion” by Gary Neville given both of the teams’ poor defending this season.
It’s hard to argue against Neville’s point on the production on-the-field of either team, however, I doubt many pub games pull 75,ooo+ in attendance.
On the whole, Week 16 performed fairly well averaging 36,994 in attendance per game, up 8.85% from 33,987 in Week 15. This brings the season average to 35,950 from 35,881, an 0.19% increase.
Despite both weekly and season average attendance on the rise, compared to last year, both numbers are down, though only slightly. This time last year, the weekly attendance was only 0.32% larger at 37,114 which had the season attendance at 36,530, a figure 1.59% larger than what it is now. With so many factors potentially contributing to this, the differences do not indicate any type of trend in attendance but the numbers are always worth examining.
Last season numbers may not impact this season’s attendance,but capacity numbers do. An 8.85% gain in attendance is the third highest positive growth rate of the season in week to week comparisons and it is worth noting that the average capacity may be a contributing factor. The week’s average capacity was 39,272, an 8.38% increase from Week 15. In previous weeks we have asserted that there is a direct link between capacity growth rates and stadium fill rates, putting forward that the difference between the average attendance growth figure and the average capacity growth figure explained positive or negative changes in the stadium fill rates.
This was incorrect and flawed as each respective growth rate uses a different denominator in their proportions which makes the resulting percentages incompatible for that kind of comparison, not to mention a myriad of other reasons relating to average calculations. We were simply incorrect and apologize for any misinformation or confusion it may have caused.
With that, said the numbers used were still correct, as they continue to be with this most recent game week. Week 16 had stadiums on average 93.09% full which is down 1.08% from Week 15 and 2.2% down from this time last season.
Even though fill rates were not as high as last week, there were no Villa Park level attendances. Burnley just snuck it in under the wire at 80.77% capacity filled and made it so that there was no stadiums filled less than 80% in Week 16. Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium all represented big names that drew big crowds and were, as a result, the most full stadiums on the week.
Arguably Old Trafford’s Manchester United v Liverpool matchup was the biggest contender but with Newcastle’s recent form, their tie with Arsenal should have been considered a top matchup of the week as well.
No sellouts once again this week so QPR, despite defeat at Goodison, maintain their current record of the only club to have soldout their stadium in 1014/15, period, without mention that they’ve done it five times. Teams continue to get ever so close, with both Manchester United and Chelsea coming within .005% of capacity to selling out, we’re talking 172 people in Chelsea’s case.
Alas, you either sellout or you don’t, until then, average attendance will remain below 100%. Here’s a look at each team’s attendance figures as they stand at the end of Week 16.