July 31, 2010

Premier League, 2010-11 season: attendance map, with percentage capacities, from 2009-10.


The map shows average attendance of Premier League clubs, via proportionally-sized club crests. The higher the club’s average attendance, the larger the club’s crest is on the map.
On the left-hand side of the map page, there is a chart that shows 6 statistics…1). Attendance rank of each Premier League club within the whole English football pyramid. 2). Average attendance from 2009-10 domestic league matches {source: Mike Avery’s Non-League Football page, 2009-10 archive/Mean Average Crowd, here}. 3). Average attendance from 2 seasons ago (2008-09). 4). Percent change from 08/09 to 09/10. 5). Each club’s stadium capacity for Premier League matches {source: Profiles, here}. 6). Percent Capacity (average attendance divided by capacity).

When you are talking about capacity of Premier League stadiums, the number is smaller than the number most sources give for that stadium. That’s because in Premier League grounds, for safety reasons, sections of seats in the stadiums are always left vacant to separate home fans from away fans. So for example, there are 76,312 seats in Manchester United’s Old Trafford, but the official Premier League site lists Old Trafford’s capacity at 75,769.

Look how tiny Blackpool’s crest is on the map. There were 50 clubs in England (and Wales) that had a higher average attendance than Blackpool last season. But Blackpool are now a Premier League club. Just one more example of the interesting wrinkles that the promotion/relegation system creates. Blackpool averaged 8,614 per game at Bloomfield Road, which had a capacity of only around 9,500 to 10,035 for four-fifths of last season. Because of ongoing construction and expansion of the Bloomfield Road ground, pinning down their percent capacity was a problem. I was unable to find definite stadium capacity for the period between late November and early March, so I listed percent capacities for the first 5 and last 5 home league matches (at the bottom of the chart).

Highest percentage-capacity numbers in the Premier League last season were…Arsenal (99.3%), Manchester United (98.81%), Tottenham (98.79%), Stoke City (98.77%), and Chelsea (97.6%). 4 of these 5 clubs also were the top four finishers in the league table. The other, Stoke City, are renowned for having the loudest fans in English football. Stoke finished a respectable 11th place in 2009-10, and are well on their way to re-establishing a firm footing in the top flight. This season will be their third season back in the top tier after a 23-season spell in the lower leagues [Stioke were in the second division for 16 seasons and in the third division for 7 seasons in two separate spells]. Once this season starts, Stoke City will have played 55 seasons in the English first division.

Clubs with the next-best percent-capacities, in the 90-97 percent capacity range were… Wolverhampton (96.8%), Manchester City (96.0%), West Ham United (95.4%), Liverpool (94.7%), and Fulham (93.8%).

Not surprisingly, Wigan Athletic once again had the lowest average attendance and the lowest percent capacity. Wigan averaged 18,006 per game, with a 71.6 percent-capacity. Second worst percent-capacity was by Bolton, who drew 21,881 per game with a 77.9 percent-capacity. The 3 relegated clubs, Hull City, Burnley, and Portsmouth, had very respectable percent-capacities, of 96.0% (Hull), 91.6 % (Burnley), and 88.4% (Portsmouth). That and the rest of the 2010-11 League Championship’s percent capacities is covered in my map and post of the Football League Championship, 2010-11 season – attendance map, with average atendances and percent capacities (from 2009-10), here.

We’ll see how the Green and Gold protest movement affects Man U’s attendance this season…it’s now three straight seasons that Old Trafford has seen a slightly diminished turnstile count. Here is a related article from the essential Two Hunderd site, from 23rd July, 2010, by Ian King, ‘Conflicting Season Ticket Stories at Old Trafford

From the Dirty Tackle site, from 13 August, 2010, by Brooks Peck: ‘The five Premier League clubs to sell out their season tickets‘.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, 2010-11 Premier League.
Thanks to, Mike Avery’s Non-League Football site.
Thanks to E-F-S site, E-F-S attendances.
Thanks to the official Premier League site, for stadium capacities, Club Profiles at

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