The Barclays Premier League Gameweeks 26 through 28 were not exactly the most straight forward. GW 26 started out pretty standard with 7 game s on Saturday, 3 on Sunday. GW 27 is where it started to deviate from the normal gameweek breakdown though. Tottenham and Chelsea’s Capital One Cup Final at Wembley occurred on the Sunday of GW 27, which means that neither played a league game, nor the other Premier League teams who would have been their opponents for that matter.
With that being the case GW 27 was only 8 games in total with GW 28 making up for Tottenham’s missed league game. GW 28 was a midweek gameweek on Tuesday and Wednesday and it makes sense if Tottenham made up their missed league game during GW 28 then Chelsea would as well, but in fact they didn’t, possibly because of their upcoming Champions League Round of 16 second leg against PSG at Stamford Bridge.
Regardless of the reason, the end result is GW 26 is all normal, GW 27 contained only 8 matchups, and GW 28 partly made up for GW 27 but not completely and has 11 matchups, leaving top of the table Chelsea and anchor of the table Leicester City with a game in hand on their championship and relegation rivals respectively.
From the perspective of average attendances the weeks were up and down compared to the season averages, which is just the way the season goes. GW 26 had an average attendance of 33, 651, down 13.49% from GW 25. Attendance shot up a massive 24.6% in GW 27 to 41,932, but then dropped 23.36% to 32,136 in GW 27.
As a result, the season average dipped and increased accordingly. GW 26’s weekly attendance drop brought the season average down a quarter of a point to 35,927 from 36,018. GW 27’s big jump in it’s weekly average brought the season average up .62% from 35,927 to 36,149. Ending the roller coaster, GW 28’s 32,136 average attendance brought the season average back down .4% to 36,006.
Overall on the season, from GW 25, the three GWs of 26, 27 & 28 in total shifted the average season attendance down 12 people from 36,018 in GW 25, to 36,006 in GW 28.
As has been our practice here at Business of Soccer all Premier League season, the weekly and season average attendance numbers are accompanied by those numbers as a percentage of their weekly capacities.
Interestingly enough, this metric doesn’t follow the same trend the averages of the three gameweeks did. GW 26 may have dropped in attendance from GW 25 but it did so as a result of the average home team stadium capacity of the week. GW 26’s average home capacity of 36,023 was 12% down from GW 25 and yet crowds filled the stadiums to 94.29% of capacity when GW 25 did so to 94.19%.
GW 27 naturally continued down the same path. It’s jump in attendance was accompanied by, and is possibly a result of the average home team capacity rising 19.55% to 43,065 and filling that average capacity 95.86% of the way full. It wasn’t to last though as GW 28’s 32,136 average attendance paired with a 34,577 average home capacity, ending that positive weekly % full rate run by posting a caparatively lower rate of 93.54% full.
Taking a step back, GW 27 posted the highest weekly average attendance of the season so far. It did so with the help of also the highest capacity of the season. These number have to be taken into context because GW 27 was also the shortest gameweek at 8 games instead of ten but looking at the home stadiums of that week, partnering Old Trafford, St James’ Park, The Emirates and Anfield, all of whom are in the top 6 largest stadiums in the Premier League were West Brom’s The Hawthorns, Burnley’s Turf Moor, and Stoke’s Brittania Stadium all of whom are firmly in the bottom six stadiums in terms of capacity in the Premier League. All of this while West Ham’s Boleyn Ground sits at a nice middle ground of 11th largest in the Premier League.
Just a thought on the Premier League’s largest average weekly attendance so far this season.
Moving on to the mot and least filled stadiums of these three gameweeks. There were no sellouts over the three gameweeks but not surprisingly Queens Park Rangers came the closest at 99.95%, just 8 fans short of capacity in GW 28 against Tottenham. Swansea’s match against Manchester United were second with 99.91% capacity filled, 18 fans shy of capacity and QPR showing up again and rounding out the top three with Loftus Road at 99.87% of capacity.
Aston Villa and Burnley maintain their frequent anchor membership as the two clubs occupy the bottom three spots with capacity fill rates of 81.24% for Burnley against Swansea, and 74.69% & 73.26% against Stoke and West Brom respectively for Aston Villa.
To round out this latest attendance update on the Barclays Premier League, here’s how every team is individually doing as far as home team capacity goes.