Premier League attendance caps 15 million for first time

A record number of fans attended matches over the course of the 2021-22 Premier League season, with the cumulative figure surpassing 15 million for the first time.

A total of 15,195,647 fans attended the 380 matches, Premier League research has shown. The matches saw an average crowd of 39,989, with the average stadium utilisation rate standing at 97.7%.

The total attendance figure represents a 4% increase on 2018-19, the last season not affected by stadium closures because of the pandemic. In 2018-19, a total of 14,623,992 fans attended matches and the stadium utilisation percentage was 95.1.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “I’d like to say thank you to the fans for everything they’ve done this season, coming back in numbers. That shows how fantastic the competition has been and how brilliant the support is for it.”

The attendance figures were boosted as Aston Villa and Leeds United – clubs with stadium capacities of 42,000 and 37,000, respectively – competed during the 2021-22 campaign having not featured in 2018-19.

For comparison, the 2018-19 season featured AFC Bournemouth and Fulham, which have much smaller stadiums. Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium has a capacity of 11,000, while Fulham’s Craven Cottage seats around 19,000 fans.

After the majority of the 2020-21 season was held behind closed doors, Premier League clubs were able to begin the 2021-22 campaign at full capacity as COVID-19 restrictions were eased in England.

Fans were initially required to show proof of double vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative lateral flow test, but these guidelines were later removed.

Image: Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash