It’s been a year to forget on the field for Bradford City, statistically – and in every other sense too – one of the worst in living memory.
But City’s average attendance throughout the course of what has been a disastrous campaign has held fairly strong. Yes, season ticket holders go a long way to contributing to that figure, but given how the club sold fewer than 14,000+ season tickets this season, one has to assume that a large portion of our average attendance comes from walk-up crowds – both at home and away.
Since City were last relegated to League Two in 2007 seems an appropriate, and somewhat ironic, period of time to use to work out where City’s attendances stand at the moment. Here is how City’s crowd stats stack up alongside our recent history.
The 2018-19 stats
- City averaged an attendance of 16,140 across the season in the league – and the highest and lowest totals in that figure were little over a fortnight apart.
- The highest crowd at Valley Parade was against Sunderland on October 6th, 2018. 19,487 were there.
- The lowest: 11,075 against Coventry just 17 days after that Sunderland game.
- It is also worth noting that City recorded the lowest-ever crowd for a professional game in the club’s history: when 902 attended the Football League Trophy match against Everton U21s. A closer look at City’s lowest-ever crowds can be seen by clicking here.
That average figure of 16,140 is also a significant drop from the previous three seasons, when City consistently recorded average crowds above 18,000. In fact, the 2017-18 total was as high as 19,787: making this season’s figure a drop of 18.43%.
Comparison with recent history
While this season’s average is a drop on the more recent years, it is still significantly stronger than the majority of the crowds across the past decade.
If you go back just over a decade, to the 2007-08 season – City’s first in League Two – crowds were averaging just shy of 14,000. The longer City stayed in the fourth-tier, the lower the crowds went: with the average falling in every single one of the six seasons City remained in the bottom division of the Football League:
- 10-11: 11,128
- 09-10: 11,453
- 08-09: 12,704
That is no doubt a cautionary statistic to those in charge of the club now, as City prepare for a return to League Two this summer.
However, even while City’s first two seasons back in League One under Phil Parkinson saw crowds increase to around the 14,000 mark again, it is interesting to note that this season’s figures are still much higher, despite the poor form.