Will new-look Championship be good for Ipswich Town’s gates?
- Credit: Andy Abbott
Next season’s Championship may not grant Ipswich Town’s wish to swell their home gates.
Town’s average attendance dropped this season from 18,266 to 17,526 – the ninth time in 10 campaigns that has happened – and exceeded the 20,000 mark on just three occasions.
Attendances improved post-Christmas, coinciding with an improvement in form under Mick McCarthy, but the two biggest gates, against Hull and Birmingham, occurred when casual fans were presented with special ticket offers.
Portman Road’s third biggest crowd of the season came against Leeds – a club with a reputation for travelling in large numbers – and a lack of teams with similar fan-bases could prove detrimental.
Doncaster Rovers, Bournemouth and Yeovil were promoted from League One at the end of the season and all three have average home attendances of less than 7,500, while relegated Wigan were the away team in six of the lowest Premier League attendances this campaign. Reading, who were also demoted, were involved in four.
“The economy and results are a major reason but also quite influential is the composition of the division,” said Blues’ ticket manager, John Ford.
“Not having teams like Norwich or West Ham in the division lessens the chance of a sell-out.
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“Also some of the teams that supporters view in lesser terms who are promoted will be less likely to attract above-average crowds like some of the other teams lost from the division.
“The Leeds match was boosted by good travelling support and it is a match still viewed by home supporters as a favourite to attend.”
The club will continue with one-off ticket offers for certain games.
The club have also frozen their season ticket prices for a third campaign in a row – and the seventh season in the last 11.