A lot can happen in three weeks, and since New Years Day, the Premier League has been far from boring. While this past week and the weekend prior has seen a respite from Premier League play, competitions like the FA Cup and Capital One Cup continued and with the weekend approaching with another Premier League gameweek, it’s only appropriate Business of Soccer continue where it left off after the Mid-Season Attendance Review.
At the end Week 19, the Premier League’s season attendance average at the mid-way point was 35,997. New Years Day saw a whole day of games that produced some unexpected results beyond the on-field performances but one of the most unique things was the difference between Week 19 and Week 20. Evidenced on the chart above gameweek attendance seems to cycle high and low while the season attendance, as expected, seems to level off.
A primary unseen influence in the high/low cycle has to do with the teams hosting home matches that week and in some weeks, the average stadium capacity is much larger and thereby creates the potential for a noticeably higher average attendance. What’s interesting between Week 19 and 20 is that for the first time this season, back-to-back gameweeks have had the exact same average capacity. Gameweeks having the same average capacity has actually happened multiple times this season though they have usually occurred with a week or two of separation.
Getting down to it, attendance from Week 19 to Week 20 dropped 2% from 34,929 to 34, 236 as did the season average albeit by 2.4% from 35,997 to 35,909. It’s not a too significant drop, but interesting nonetheless due to the fact that reason behind the congruent average capacities came down to all the same home teams which means it was the same home crowds and fans involved in both gameweeks.
We don’t speculate too much on reasoning behind the trends but a glaring difference between the two weeks is the day. New Years Day games fell on a Thursday, and regardless of it being a Holiday, it’s still New Years Day.
Moving on, Weeks 21 & 22 featured average attendances of 38,084 and 32,872 respectively. Week 21 was a 10% increase from Week 20 while Week 22 was a 13% decrease with season attendance rising .29% for Week 21 and then consequently falling .45% following Week 22. Average capacities on those weeks rose 8% and then fell 12% accordingly and fit with the week and season attendance trends over that time.
As far as how full stadiums were over the three gameweeks, the percentages tended to hover around the season average. Week 20 stadiums were 94.87% full which was an expected decrease from Week 19 knowing the similar capacities but different attendances.
Weeks 21 and 22, were 95.92% and 95.23% full respectively and for both weeks the season average remained stable at 95.33%. Nothing significantly surprising with the attendance data so far and continuing on the stadium fill rate trend, the most and least full stadiums across the three gameweeks aren’t too shocking either.
Loftus Road keeps on the sellout route and notches their 6th sellout of the season in Week 22 when they hosted Manchester United while Everton’s Goodison park made a good showing in Week 21 when they hosted Manchester’s other high profile representative, City, with Swansea’s hosting of Chelsea in Week 22 rounding out the top three.
The bottom performers are less diverse and are not newcomers to the bottom performers in attendance as a % of capacity. Aston Villa’s Villa Park maintains itself as the least full stadium of the season, posting a 68.89% in Week 20. During the following two gameweeks, Burnley’s Turf Moor takes the crown for least full stadiums at 81.87% and 83.08% in Week 21 & 22.
Ending there, let’s take a look how each team is doing overall for the season.