Surely after the conclusion of Gameweek 5, Premier League brass had to have been standing in their offices grinning, arms wide with Russell Crowe-esque “are you not entertained!!??” looks across their faces. Between Chelsea’s slide, Benteke’s bicycle, Leicester’s comeback and City’s last gasp winner at Selhurst Park, there was quality football entertainment in every corner of the Premier League in GW 5.
With that entertainment of course came the crowds who would view it live. A total of 377,071 fans packed into Premier League stadiums around the country, bringing the season’s cumulative attendance to 1,837,578. Overall, that’s 96.12% of the total capacity for the week, 392,281.GW 5 bounced back from the lowest average attendance in GW 4, to the second highest this past week averaging 37,707, 8.22% up from GW 4 prior to the international break. The average stadium capacity in GW 5 was also second highest at 39,228, tied with GW 3 for the second spot, which GW 5 outperformed from an average attendance standpoint by 148 fans. Capacity in GW 5 may have equaled GW 3, but it was an 7.3% increase from GW 4, which might help explain the shift back up in average attendance. Average fill rates for home stadiums continued their upward trend, albeit ever so slightly, increasing .06% from 95.61% in GW 4 to 95.67% in GW 5, which brings the season’s average fill rate to 96.29%.
This is deceiving though, because from the standpoint of full stadiums, GW 5 is arguably the best week of the season so far with two sellouts. It should be noted that it was Crystal Palace at Selhurst park and Norwich at Carrow Road, the same clubs who previously had sellouts, but they were sellout crowds nonetheless.
Add to this that there was the largest average travel distance for away fans, 147.69 miles (237.59 km) and this week’s attendance numbers start to stand out a little bit more. Both sellouts had away fans that traveled farther than the average. City fans traveled 169.15 miles (272.21 km) to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace while Bournemouth fans traveled 187.76 miles (302.18 km) to Carrow Road to face the Canaries.
West Ham fans traveled by far the farthest to watch Dimitri Payet prove his value against Newcastle, traveling 247.86 miles (398.9 km) while Leicester City fans had the arduous 32.2 mile (51.83 km) sojourn to Birmingham to watch the foxes face Aston Villa.Crystal Palace and Norwich both sold out and naturally take the top two spots, but Manchester United came close, missing out on a sellout by 306 fans.
Sunderland’s Stadium of Light continues to be the least full stadium of the season. Sunderland have yet post a crowd above 85% of capacity, and after West Brom’s breaking of the 90% line, after GW 5 Sunderland are the only club to not have a home game feature in the 90% range. It’s a little rough to half Watford’s Vicarage Road in the bottom three considering they posted a respectable 93.29% but, when it’s a good week, someone has to go down. With that said, below you’ll find a club by club breakdown of attendance averages so far this season. Enjoy!