Norwich City get best crowds for nearly four decades

Norwich City’s memorable promotion campaign has been watched by the biggest crowds at Carrow Road for nearly 40 years.

The Canaries’ final Championship match of 2010-11, against Coventry City on Saturday (12.45pm), will draw the seventh home attendance of more than 26,000 this season.

The game is a sell-out for home fans in all areas, including matchday hospitality, with only limited buy-back tickets available two hours before kick-off.

Whether the gate tops the season’s best of 26,532 against Ipswich Town in November depends on how many tickets Coventry sell from their allocation.

City’s 22 Championship home games up to now have attracted crowds totalling 557,618 at an average of 25,346.

It is the biggest league average at Norwich since 1972-73, the club’s first season in Division One, when crowds totalling 601,757 watched 21 home games at an average of 28,652.

This season’s average is also nearly 600 up on last season’s League One figure of 24,755, helped by an additional 1,000 seats being installed in the stadium last summer and City’s march to promotion under Paul Lambert sparking a string of home sell-outs.

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The 26,315 gate for the visit of Leeds United in November was the first to top 26,000 at Carrow Road since 1989. The crowd against Ipswich eight days later was the biggest at home in any competition since the FA Cup fourth round replay against Tottenham in 1984, which pulled in 26,811.

Only two Championship clubs have had bigger average gates than the Canaries this season, with Leeds averaging 27,299 and struggling Derby County 25,892.

By contrast, Queens Park Rangers – promoted as champions barring a points deduction from their FA hearing into alleged transfer irregularities – have only the 14th highest home gates at an average of 15,517, nearly 10,000 fewer than Norwich.