2015/16 FL Attendance Analysis Released
With most eyes on the January transfer deadline window on Tuesday, the Football League released it's annual attendance report and analysis.
Crowds over the last few years growing certainly continued as a trend for the provisional figures and tables released by the Football League for last season, and overall figures continue to be at their highest levels for half a century.
The Championship remains the fourth best attended division in Europe, with League One and Two attendance levels much higher than equivalent divisions abroad.
Crunching the numbers - and it must be said the numbers are based on official gate statement returns from clubs so they will vary when compared to other statistics and earlier provisional figures. The age old 'does a Season Ticket holder count if they aren't actually there' is an old debate for attendances - especially during protests.
In any event, headlines from the number crunching show that Fulham's Craven Cottage was again named the most popular away ground to visit in the Football League last season, and Leeds United continued to be the best side supported on their travels on verage. Middlesbrough held the highest home crowd of the season and Preston North End took the highest individual away following.
All the details released by the Football League can be found by - Clicking Here.
Attendances (tickets sold):
The club with the highest average attendance was once again Derby County, followed by Brighton & Hove Albion and Middlesbrough. The highest in League One was Sheffield United (ahead of 18 Championship clubs), followed by Bradford City and Coventry City. In League Two, Portsmouth had the highest average (ahead of 10 Championship clubs), followed by Plymouth Argyle and Luton Town.
Six clubs averaged over 20,000 attendees per match and 19 clubs achieved at least one match attendance higher than 20,000. Four clubs, Middlesbrough, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton achieved match attendances over 30,000.
With those statistics factored in, it means the highest single match attendance in the league last season was marginally up and that was a crowd of 33,827 in the game between Middlesbrough and Brighton on the final day of the season where Championship automatic spot placings were decided.
That particular game in 2014/15 was also the highest individual crowd.
MK Dons following their promotion from League One to the Championship saw the individual biggest growth in attendance figures, up 40% on 2014/15. Bradford City had the second highest growth up 35% and Coventry City were third with 34%.
In terms of stadium occupancy levels.
Bristol City rated 96%. Bradford City with 72% had the highest in League One, and Portsmouth had 90% in League Two.
Total attendance across the Football Leagues for an average round of 36 fixtures on a match day totalled 357,578 and the largest cumulative total of tickets sold for a single weekend of matches was 443,201 for the 36 fixtures played over the final weekend of the season.
The smallest crowd variations between highest and lowest attendances were seen by Bristol City, Bradford City and Derby County in that order. Bristol City's lowest home attendance polled 90% of their highest game of the campaign.
In terms of Season Tickets:
Total 2015/16 season ticket sales were the highest on record at 466,519 and provisional figures for 2016/17 have already passed that mark. Averaging across the Football Leagues, Championship clubs saw 12,284 sales, 4,471 in League One and 2,684 in League Two.
The most number of Season Ticket sales went to Derby County with 23,207, in League One (and fourth overall) came Bradford City with 15,754 with Portsmouth on 11,476 for League Two.
Season Ticket growth went to Bradford City with 59%, followed by Burton Albion on 48% and Middlesbrough with 43%.
For Away fans:
Away crowds at Football League matches totalled 1.48million last season and that was an average away fan tally of 895, a rise of 6% on 2014/15.
For a divisional breakdown it means, Championship at 1,429, League One at 715 and League Two at 542.
Biggest average away followings of the year went to Leeds United at 2,829, Sheffield Wednesday at 2,521 and Middlesbrough at 2,501. Sheffield United averaged 1,622 in League One whilst Portsmouth averaged 1,380 in League Two.
More than half of the clubs that remained in the Football League for 2015/16 saw an increase in away travelling fans and the stand out growth came at Walsall with 92%, followed by Wigan Athletic at 83%, Oxford United at 78%, Burton Albion at 78% and Brighton at 55%.
The highest recorded number of away fans at an individual match was 6,984 when Preston North End travelled to Blackburn Rovers in April.
Defining popular stadiums by away fan travel, Fulham retained their place in the table with 2,976 visiting fans on average. Sheffield United's Bramall Lane was the most visited in League One, averaging 1,176 visitors with Oxford United's Kassam Stadium top in League Two with an average of 919 visitors.
The biggest increase average compared to 2014/15 was Preston's Deepdale with a 196% rise.
The link placed above carries tables for the full details and they include information going back to the 2011/12 season where applicable.