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EFL Attendance Analysis & Report – Season 2015/16

Posted: Tue 31 Jan 2017
Fans enjoy a Sky Bet Championship match

Fans enjoy a Sky Bet Championship match

Image by: Nigel French/PA Images

Season 2015/16 was certainly full of drama on the pitch in the Sky Bet EFL, and the EFL has released analysis of match attendances and the number of fans in the stands at games last season.

Provisional attendance data for season 2015/16 has previously been made available, with crowds over the last few seasons continuing to be at their highest levels for half a century.

The Sky Bet Championship also remains the fourth best attended division in Europe, with Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two crowds much higher than their equivalent divisions in other European countries.

However, we’ve analysed the data further and can now reveal our annual in-depth statistics about attendances for the season of 2015/16. These stats are based on official gate statement returns from clubs so may vary from other unofficial data or provisional statistics.

Highlights of the analysis include Craven Cottage again being named the most popular away ground to visit in the Sky Bet EFL last season, Leeds United retaining their position as the best supported team on the road, Middlesbrough having the highest home crowd for a single match and Preston North End the highest individual match away following.

As well as the highest average attendances, the stats on this page confirm the best attended match, the club with the most season ticket holders, the average number of away fans per club and the most popular away grounds for fans to visit. Full club ranking tables of the stats can be downloaded via the links at the foot of this page.

SUMMARY STATISTICS:

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 Sky Bet League One was Sheffield United (ahead of 18 Championship clubs), followed by Bradford City and Coventry City

- In Sky Bet 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

- Nineteen clubs achieved at least one match attendance higher than 20,000 last season. Four clubs, (Middlesbrough, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton & Hove Albion) achieved match attendances over 30,000

- The highest attendance for a single league match last season was marginally up on last season at 33,827 – for exactly the same fixture as 2014/15’s top crowd (Middlesbrough v Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day of the season)

- The biggest growth in attendances was seen at Milton Keynes Dons (+40%) following their promotion to the Championship. Bradford City (+35%) saw the second biggest growth, with Coventry City (+34%) third

- Bristol City had the highest occupancy rate (96%). Bradford City (72%) had the highest in Sky Bet League One, and Portsmouth (90%) in Sky Bet League Two

- The total match attendance for an average round of 36 fixtures was 357,578.

- The largest cumulative total of tickets sold for a single weekend of EFL matches was 443,201 for the 36 fixtures played over the final weekend of the season

- The lowest crowd variation was at Bristol City where the lowest home gate equalled 90% of the highest home gate of the season - followed by Bradford City and Derby County.

Season Ticket Holders

- Total 2015/16 season ticket sales were the highest on record at 466,519, surpassing the record total set the previous year (note this has since been passed for Season 2016/17).

- The average number of season ticket holders per club was 12,284 in the Championship, 4,471 in League One and 2,684 in League Two

- Most number of season ticket holders for a club was 23,207 at Derby County. Bradford City had most in League One and fourth most overall (15,754) and Portsmouth (11,476) most in League Two

- Bradford City had the biggest growth in season ticket holders (59%), followed by Burton Albion (+48%) and Middlesbrough (+43%)

- The average crowd proportion of season ticket holders was 65%. Milton Keynes Dons had the highest proportion, followed by Barnet and Hartlepool United

Away Fans

- Away crowds at Sky Bet Football League matches totalled 1.48 million last season

- The average number of away fans at games was 895, a rise of 6%

- Average away fans at Sky Bet Championship games was 1,429, in Sky Bet League One it was 715 and in Sky Bet League Two, 542

- The biggest average away following at games was for Leeds United (2,829), followed by Sheffield Wednesday (2,521) and Middlesbrough (2,501). Sheffield United (1,622) had the biggest away following in Sky Bet League One, and Portsmouth (1,380) topped the away following table in Sky Bet League Two

Over half the clubs that remained in EFL from 2014/15 saw an increase in the number of their fans travelling to their away games.

- Walsall (+92%) saw the biggest increase in travelling fans, followed by Wigan Athletic (+83%), Oxford United (+78%), Burton Albion (+78%) and Brighton & hove Albion (+55%)

- The biggest away following in each division as a proportion of the number of fans that attend home games was Preston North End (Sky Bet Championship), Rochdale (Sky Bet League One) and Barnet (Sky Bet League Two)

- The highest recorded number of away fans at an individual match was the 6,984 Preston North End fans that travelled to Blackburn Rovers to see them win in April

- Fulham’s Craven Cottage retained its crown as the most popular ground in the EFL for away fans to visit (2,976 visiting fans on average). Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane was most visited by away fans in Sky Bet League One (average of 1,176 visitors per match) and Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium the most popular away trip in Sky Bet League Two (an average of 919 visiting fans per match)

-The biggest increase in visiting fans last season was the number going to Preston North End’s Deepdale (+196% increase compared to 2014/15)

Downloads - Club Ranking Tables:

Average Attendance
Attendance - Highest
Attendance - Change
Total Admissions
Season Ticket Holders
Average Travelling Fans
Travelling Fans - Change
Travelling Fans - Highest
Travelling Fans (as Percentage of Home Fans)
Visiting Fans
Crowd Variation - Home Fans
Occupancy
Match Attendances - Top 75 Matches
Away Crowds - Top 75 Matches