The Barclay’s Premier League has finally seen its first non-QPR sellout. The Occasion: The Merseyside Derby. The Significance: Gerrard’s final Merseyside Derby before swapping Liverpool for the LA Galaxy and the Premier League for Major League Soccer. As a side-note QPR, not to be outdone of course, between Gameweeks 23 and 25 also sold out Loftus Road in northwest London.It was during Gameweek 24 that Goodison sold out for the Merseyside Derby but the real gameweek winner is Gameweek 23. At an average attendance level of 39,830 GW 23 posted the highest gameweek average attendance of the 2014/15 season so far which consequently also brought the season average at the end of GW 23 to 36,042, the fourth highest it’s been this season.
We mentioned GW 24 as being the week that saw Steven Gerrard’s final Merseyside derby that sold out Everton’s Goodison Park. This was also the week that QPR sold out Loftus Road hosting Southampton. Despite these two sellouts, the week itself was relatively unspectacular with an average of 32,579, which is actually the second lowest of the season but it stands with the caveat that the average stadium capacity for the week was 34,554, the lowest of the season.
Gameweek 25 just wrapped up yesterday and it shares the same average home team capacity of high-flying GW 23 at 40,953, another season high. GW 23 set a pretty high bar for average attendance but GW 25 holds its own in this regard posting an average attendance of 38,899 which is the third highest of the season so far.
High attendances, and then low attendances and then looks at caveats focusing on average capacity. All this condenses into Attendance as a % of capacity. Despite having the shared season highest capacity to go along with its season high attendance, GW 23 still pulled weight as a proportion with the season’s fourth most full stadium week at 96.91%.
GWs 24 & 25 both hover around the 94% range at 94.36% and 94.19% respectively. This ranks around the bottom 1/3 so far of all gameweeks.
Looking at the best and worst performers individually within these gameweeks highlights some expected participants. With sellouts to their names in GW 24, Everton and QPR naturally maintain the top 2 highest attended games across GWs 23, 24, & 25. Rounding out that top three interestingly enough is Manchester United’s Old Trafford. What is interesting is not that it’s Old Trafford or Manchester United but rather that it was a midweek Wednesday game against Burnley, not exactly the most glamorous of matchups.
Moving onto the worst performers in attendance. unsurprisingly, Aston Villa’s Villa Park and Burnley’s Turf Moor are on the Bottom three list of least full stadiums accompanied by Sunderland’s Stadium of Light. Neither of these are first timers to the bottom performing list but a positive note is that Aston Villa are getting out of their 70% range trend.
They still have a little ways to go before they can bring their season average out of the 77% it currently sits at, but taking it one game at a time is the only way it happens. Here is how the rest of the Premier League clubs are faring in terms of attendance performance.