This week’s attendance facts come a little later than normal to include the mid-week fixtures:
- We witnessed some surprisingly low attendances in the Bundesliga mid-week fixtures. Both Augsburg’s (25,211) and Stuttgart’s (41,720) attendance were their lowest in more than a year, and Schalke (59,116) and Hannover (36,200) only had one lower last season. Fürth furthermore did not sell out the small Trolli Arena, and Mainz has not yet reached the 30,000 mark this season, something they did on every occasion last season.
- But when there is succes, people come. Eintracht completely filled the Commerzbank-Arena for their home fixture versus Dortmund, and in the 2. Bundesliga the Berliners are starting to really get behind Hertha. Their home crowd of 45,747 would not have been out of place in the Bundesliga. Köln’s average of 33,525 this season is also not too shabby, despite their poor results.
- Just 4,204 people paid to see AC Milan play Cagliari on Wednesday. Add to these the season tickets (though quite a few stayed at home) and one gets an attendance of 28,000, which is about a third lower than Milan’s lowest attendances in the last few seasons. Let’s hope their first win at home brings back the crowds.
- We saw a similar poor attendance at Genoa (just 17,000), but Fiorentina managed to sell out Stadio Artemio Franchi for their home fixture versus Juventus.
- The Championship provided a perfect test this week to see if mid-week fixtures attract fewer crowds than weekend fixtures. We could do this because the exact same teams first had a mid-week home match and then one on the weekend. The weekend fixtures averaged 16,411 spectators per match, whereas this was only 15,004 mid-week, so a clear difference. Nine of the twelve clubs recorded higher attendances on the weekend.
- The MLS shows similar differences between mid-week and weekend fixtures, best expressed by the fickle crowds of the New York Red Bulls. While having a very decent season, a mere 10,286 fans showed up for the interesting match versus league leaders Sporting Kansas City, their poorest crowd this season.