More and more people are attending fixtures in the EFL as clubs continue to attract growing numbers of season ticket holders, while also providing increasingly competitive pricing options for adult and family match day tickets.
The EFL now has more than 500,000 season ticket holders for the first time in living memory - and the numbers are increasing year-on-year as its 72 clubs think of innovative ways to attract fans through their turnstiles.
The landmark figure is representative of a growing appetite for live football. It is also illustrative of a greater focus being placed on concessionary and family ticket options.
• Clubs in the Championship have the largest share of season ticket holders, with 326,000 between them.
• The remaining 176,000 are split, with League One and League Two clubs having 117,000 and 59,000 respectively.
• Overall, season ticket holders have increased steadily in recent seasons, with overall growth of 26% from 398,390 in 2007, to 502,826 this season.
In addition, match day ticket costs across all ticket options are decreasing too.
An analysis of the official gate receipts submitted to the EFL reveals that the average admission price received by all clubs was £13.11 per supporter. This compares with £14.08 from 2014/15 and is triggered by a decrease in match day prices across the three divisions.
EFL Clubs are also providing increasingly flexible pricing options for concessionary and family tickets, offering heavily discounted prices for youngsters. Over 50 clubs provide tickets for £5 or less, while a further 15 teams across League One and League Two allow access for free.
It is this kind of innovative thinking that is helping the EFL to thrive according to CEO, Shaun Harvey.
He said: “It is testament to the dedication and innovative approach clubs are taking to recruit season ticket holders that we are able to celebrate this collective landmark for the EFL.
“It is clear to see that football has never been so popular, nor has it ever been so competitively priced with great value for money being provided across the three divisions.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see so many new ideas being implemented to encourage families to attend and ensure that kids are given a taste of live EFL football at an early age – an experience and a thrill that we hope will stay with them for a lifetime.”
Clubs in the Championship charged, on average, £355 for their cheapest, full price adult season ticket for the 2016/17 season. This represents a cost of £15.43 per match for a full paying adult. However, many clubs charge less with the likes of Fulham and Wigan making season tickets available for less than £260 – a maximum per match cost of £11.30.
Further value for money is available in League One and League Two with clubs such as Charlton Athletic having tickets available from £175 while Leyton Orient offer a price of £190.
An increase in the range of family tickets being made available is also helping to improve value for money for parents.
• There has been a 37% increase of junior season ticket holders over the past 10 years across the EFL.
• More than 20% of all EFL club match attendees are now under 16.
Average price paid per spectator
Assessment of the figures for the 2015/16 season shows:
• The average price in the Championship reduced from £15.65 in 2014/15 to £14.74 last year.
• League One tickets cost £10.50 last season, compared to £11.72 in 2014/15.
• League Two tickets cost £11.58 last season, compared to £11.15 in 2014/15.
Club gate statements include the admission costs paid by season ticket holders, non-season ticket holders, supporters in corporate hospitality areas and away fans. It includes those paying adult and concessionary prices.
How this research was compiled
Figures from Official Gate Statements and season ticket holder numbers are provided by clubs to the EFL.
The average price paid per spectator has been calculated by dividing the total gate receipts for matches in the Sky Bet EFL by the total number of paying attendees.
Additional information on family ticket initiatives
An increasing willingness to be flexible and add value to the family offering is also having an impact. The EFL’s Family Excellence Awards, celebrating its tenth anniversary this season, is an initiative that rewards clubs for creating an engaging and memorable experience for families.
• Reading became the first club to offer families an opportunity to pre-order their kids snack box for the game and even choose the make-up: savoury, sweet or healthy.
• Cardiff City adapted their turnstile system to recognise when a junior swipes their ticket on their birthday. Three red lights flash, the family is greeted and offered a ‘money can’t buy’ moment that the happy kid will never forget. Ideas such as this have seen family season ticket holders increase from 459 to 7,000 in just four years.
• Oxford United took a group of their families on an ‘away day’ – travelling to a fixture on a team coach where kids mixed with first team players and engaged in all sorts of entertaining activities.
• They were then looked after by the hosts Stevenage, who also have previous for family engagement. They have designed their ticketing system to pick up new families so that, once seated, they can be welcomed to the club over the PA and their delighted kids greeted by the club mascot.
• In addition EFL clubs provided one million complimentary match tickets to games last season, the majority of which go to children