Uefa, European football’s governing body, has revealed a series of key stadium trends in a new report that focuses on the development of the sport during the past 10 years.
According to the European Club Footballing Landscape study, of all the stadium projects that have taken place around the world in the past decade, 48 per cent of these were in Europe. Turkey leads the way with 18 projects since 2007, with Poland and Russia both on 14.
Uefa also noted an upward trend in stadium building, with 58 new club projects scheduled between 2013 and 2017, compared to just 23 from 2006 to 2012. Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium (pictured), due to reopen in the Russian capital this year, is the largest of all projects, with the reconstructed venue to have a capacity of 81,000.
Of all 365 projects examined by the organisation, 57 per cent were new venues, with 25 per cent renovation jobs and eight per cent rebuilds.
A total of 66 per cent of the stadiums were for football use, with American football some way behind in second with 23 per cent of the share.
Meanwhile, football attendances in Europe increased by 2.6 million last season, with 14 leagues achieving their best attendance figures in more than a decade.
There was a 1.5 per cent year-on-year increase in spectator numbers at domestic and European games, with more than 170 million people attending games in 2015/16.
Around a third of that total was generated by the combined attendances of league games in England and Germany. The English Premier League was the most popular league in Europe, with an aggregate of 13.9 million. However, the German Bundesliga – which has two fewer teams – had the highest average attendance of 43,300.
Spain’s Primera Liga, the English second-tier Championship and Italy’s Serie A completed the top five. England’s third-tier League One was the ninth most popular league in Europe with a total attendance of 3.9 million and average gate of 7,040.
FC Barcelona were the biggest draw in Europe with a total of 1.51 million spectators attending games at the Camp Nou. Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich completed the top five. However, Dortmund had the highest average gate of 81,178.
Uefa said: “All eight clubs that recorded home match attendances of more than one million play in the top tier in England, Germany or Spain, and four of the top ten European leagues by total attendance were second or third-tier leagues in England, Germany and Spain, emphasising the strength and depth of supporter interest and stadium capacity in these three traditional powerhouses.”
A total of 34 European nations saw an increase in attendances in 2015/16, with 17 decreasing. The 14 leagues that accrued their highest attendance in 10 yearswere Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.
Sweden, with a 40 per cent rise, saw the largest percentage increase in gates, while the French football league lost experienced the largest total decrease of more than 500,000.
Based on 4,900 season-to-season results, Uefa said each step up or down the league table results in an average three-per-cent increase or decrease in match attendance.
Uefa added: “There is a clear link between average attendance trends and on-pitch performance, as measured by changes in final league position. On average, moving one position up the league table added three per cent to average attendance, with each position lost resulting in an equivalent three per cent drop in attendance.
“A significant improvement or deterioration in performance (moving three places or more in the table), as seen more than 2,000 times across European leagues in the last decade, has led on average to crowds increasing by 15 per cent or decreasing by nine per cent.”
To view the report in full, click here.