Gameweek 6 in the Barclays Premier League started off with sparks flying at Stamford bridge and rolled on at that pace with Leicester playing the role of comeback kids once again, Manchester City losing to West Ham, and Manchester United putting on quite a performance against Southampton. While the on the pitch performances were like the star summer signing, the accompanying gameweek attendance was more of a youthful first team bench player: Solid performance, a few silver linings, but definitely room for improvement.
GW 6 posted 350,357 total attendance across all Premier league matches, 95.85% of the total 365,537 capacity which brings the cumulative Premier League attendance to date this season above the 2 million mark to 2,187,935.35,036 was the average attendance around the Premier League, which sits almost dead in the middle for the season so far, bringing the season average to 36,466. Average attendance was down 7.08% from GW 5 while the average home capacity was down 6.81% from GW 5 at 36,554.
An easy mistake is to look at the % changes in attendance and capacity and see that attendance dropped by a greater percentage than capacity, so therefore it’s an attendance issue not a capacity issue. The problem is, they’re not directly comparable figures due to the fact that the percentages use different denominators, so a 6% drop in home capacity doesn’t equal a 6% drop in attendance.A little visual evidence to support this can be found in the always handy metric of the fill rate. GW 6’s attendance was 4th highest (or 3rd lowest) so far this season. Arguably a small sample size, but one thing to consider is that GW 6 still posted the joint second highest fill rate so far this season at 96.48% and continued the positive growth for a 4th consecutive week.In fact, GW 6 had the exact same average home attendance as GW 4, due to the fact that there were the exact same home teams, and GW 6 had on average, almost 200 fans more per game.
The average away fans travel distance sat in the same position as the average attendance, 4th highest, at 126.09 miles (202.93 km). Naturally Arsenal’s heavyweight matchup with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was the shortest travel distance (more of brisk walk distance than “travel” really) with 6.22 mile (10 km) while Sunderland fans had the roughest trek, traveling 289.65 miles (466.15 km) as their Black Cats took on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.Most metrics may have GW 6 beating out GW 4 in direct comparison, but one metric keeps them dead even: Sellouts. Like GW 4, GW 6 did not post a single sellout match.
It was incredibly tight, Chelsea’s bout with Arsenal was a mere 214 fans short of a sellout, which seems almost inexcusable for two clubs with some of the strongest fan bases and one of the shortest travel distances of any teams all season, except Liverpool and Everton. Swansea and Stoke came even closer than Chelsea with Swansea coming up 104 fans short of the Liberty Stadiums 20,909 capacity and Stoke coming 98 fans short of the Britannia’s 27,740 capacity.
It may appear that there is an error in the top and bottom three performers chart because there are four teams list in the bottom 3. This is not an error. Southampton’s 3-2 loss to Manchester United and Manchester Citys 2-1 loss to West Ham actually posted, to two decimal places, the same fill rate. It should also be noted that if posting a 97.18% capacity full stadium on gameday puts you in a tie for 3rd worst of the week, then this leagues attendance is in pretty good shape, at least for this week. Villa Park continue to anchor the Premier League in attendance, though they are now not the only club with a below 90% average attendance across all game of the season so far.
We’ll have to wait and see what the next gameweek provides in terms of attendance performance but until then, you can find below how each team in the Barclays Premier League has done so far this season in terms of attendance figures.