Gameweek 3 of the Barclays Premier League wrapped up this past Monday with a goalkeeper clinic at The Emirates stadium between Arsenal’s Petr Cech and Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet. While the heavyweight matchup proved a stalemate, across the rest of the league in the realm of attendance, there were most certainly winners and losers.
(If you missed our combined Opening Week and Gameweek 2 Premier League Attendance analysis, you can check it out here) Overall, average attendance was up 7.54% in GW 3 from GW 2, increasing from 34,926 to 37,559. While it’s an improvement on the previous week’s attendance figures, it doesn’t quite eclipse opening week.
One positive highlight from the week though was Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park. There were three home matches London across GW 3 at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park and Selhurst Park was the only venue to post a sellout crowd. With an attendance of 25,295, Crystal Palace exceeded their 25,073 capacity by 222 fans, joining the sellout club alongside Norwich City and Carrow Road from GW 1. Despite the increase in overall average attendance, GW 3 showed a decline in terms of stadium fill rate. So far, 95.54% is the least full stadiums have been so far.
This is possible due to the fact that alongside the increase in average attendance came an increase in the average home team stadium capacity. Average capacity increased 2,946, 8.12%, from 36,282 in GW 2 to 39,228 in GW 3 which helps explain how despite the second highest average attendance so far (granted out of only three weeks) that GW 3 also had the least full stadiums.
Overall, away fans traveled the least so far, only traveling 117.54 miles (189.17 km) on average. Villa fans traveled just below that mark to make it to the only sellout match of the week, traveling 108.45 miles (173.78 km). Manchester City fans had the shortest trip of 32.27 miles (51.93 km) west to Liverpool to take on Everton at Goodison Park while Swansea fans had by far the longest trip of 249.57 miles (401.65 km) to make it to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and also the least full stadium of the week (not necessarily the lowest attended though). Palace’s Selhurt Park and Sunderland’s Stadium of Light have already been established as the most and least full stadiums of the gameweek respectively.
Big name venues like The Emirates and Old Trafford take 2nd and 3rd with 99.7% and 99.6% full, both coming within a couple hundred fans of a sellout. It was Watford’s Vicarage Road and West Brom’s Hawthorns that filled out the bottom three ahead of the Stadium of Light as the next least full.
Overall attendance trends for the season are still starting to come together and hopefully the sellout trend started so far by Crystal Palace and Norwich will continue on. Right now only Sunderland and West Brom show average attendances below 90% of capacity, see below for how the rest of the Premier League is doing after GW 3.