City's crowd figures released

DAVID CUFFLEY A second successive season without a promotion challenge has failed to damage Norwich City's home attendances. Average Championship gates at Carrow Road in 2006-07 dropped by less than one per cent - despite the Canaries spending most of the campaign in the bottom half of the table, where they are now certain to finish.

DAVID CUFFLEY

A second successive season without a promotion challenge has failed to damage Norwich City's home attendances.

Average Championship gates at Carrow Road in 2006-07 dropped by less than one per cent - despite the Canaries spending most of the campaign in the bottom half of the table, where they are now certain to finish.

City's 23 league matches at home brought a total attendance of 565,552, an average of 24,589.


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In 2005-06, attendances for the 23 league games totalled 571,169 with an average of 24,833.

The drop from season to season is just 0.98 per cent, a tribute to the staying power of supporters with City's average gates third in the division behind promoted Sunderland and play-off qualifiers Derby.

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Biggest official attendance of the season was 25,476 for the East Anglian derby against Ipswich Town nine days ago, with the lowest 23,311 for the midweek visit of Wolves in January.

City's director of sales and marketing, Andrew Cullen, said: “Attendances have held up remarkably well when we haven't been challenging for promotion or the play-offs for most of the season. Our average gates are the third highest in the Championship and are better than seven Premiership clubs - Reading, Bolton, Fulham, Blackburn, Portsmouth, Watford and Wigan.”

The Canaries also have the best gates as a percentage of ground capacity in the Football League.

With the addition of the FA Cup fourth round replay against Blackpool, City's home attendances in all competitions totalled 584,672, compared to 611,903 the previous season, when there was one extra cup-tie.

It is only the second time in seven seasons that City's average league gate has failed to show a year-on-year increase, but a fall of below one per cent shows they have held their own. The only previous drop in that period was in the 2003-04 Nationwide League title-winning campaign, when ground capacity was restricted during the building of the Jarrold Stand.

League gates are still more than 9,000 up on the average of 15,540 in 1999-2000, since when they have risen steadily.

Season ticket sales for next season currently stand at 17,411 with nearly three weeks to the final renewal deadline of May 19, and there are 1,371 fans on the waiting list.

Attendances

(2005-06 in brackets)

All competitions - Home total: 584,672 (611,903). Home average: 24,361 (24,476).

Coca-Cola Championship - Home total: 565,552 (571,169). Home average: 24,589 (24,833).

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