Gameweek 7 of the Barclays Premier League has come and gone and as expected, splashes were made on and off the pitch. In this case the off the pitch splashes were only yards away from the pitch, in the stands as a third club enters the sellout club posting the Premier League’s fifth sellout of the season.
Overall, GW 7 had 373,863 fans in total attendance across all the games, 97.03% of the total weekly capacity of 385,269. That figure brings the season total cumulative attendance to 2,561,798.At 37,386, GW 7’s average attendance was neither outstanding, nor awful, sitting as the fourth highest of the season so far. Despite that, GW7’s average attendance was up 6.71% from GW 6’s 35,036, which brought the season average up to 36,597.
This should be noted in the context of the average home team capacity for the week, 38,527, which is a 5.39% increase from GW 6.While the average attendance numbers may appear middle of the pack, when looked at against the week’s average home capacity, the performance actually takes on a better light. Stadiums were on average at 96.66% of capacity, a figure only bettered by the Premier League’s opening week. This continues the positive trend that began in GW 3.
The home team has another impact besides the capacity potential of the week, that is the impact on the distance that the away team’s fans have to travel. GW 7 though was not exactly rough on away fans. The average away fan traveled the lowest of any gameweek so far at 114.66 miles (184.53 km) across all the games. Chelsea fans would of course beg to differ as they the 248.85 mile (400.48 km) haul to make as the Blues faced Newcastle United at St James’ Park. Crystal Palace fans on the other hand may not have had another London derby this week, but they still did not have far to travel with the shortest travel distance by far at 22.04 mile (35.46 km) to Vicarage Road Stadium to face Watford.Interestingly enough, both St James’ Park and Vicarage Road Stadium were among the least full stadiums this week which brings about the discussion of whether travel distance potentially impacts away fan attendance and therefore overall attendance. That however is not in our ability to assess at the moment.
What is in our ability is to look at individual match attendances. Out of the 373,863 total fans who attended games in GW 7, 27,742 were at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium as the Potters took on recently promoted AFC Bournemouth. Thanks to those 27,742 fans, Stoke City now joins Norwich City and Crystal Palace as the third member of the 2015/16 season sellout club. The game exceeded capacity by a mere 2 fans with the Britannia’s capacity listed at 27,740 ccording to the premier league. Manchester United’s Old Trafford and Leicester City’s King Power Stadium were close behind the Britannia at 99.57% and 99.18% full, just 325 and 265 fans away from a sellout respectively.
In addition to this, GW 7 also has the honor of being only the second gameweek of the season so far to have every game have a minimum of 90% attendance across the board. Not a single home stadium was less than 90% full with West Brom just sneaking in at 90.28% at the Hawthorns against Everton on Monday.
With that, let’s take a look at how each individual team is doing from an attendance standpoint going into GW 8.