Gates statistics – Progress Report 2015/16
View the 2015/16 Report (PDF file)
These statistics show the predictions of the Club’s Gates Committee (see below for more information on the Committee) compared to the actual attendances for the first 17 games of the 2015/16 season (up to and including the Portsmouth match).
These are now showing a rather disappointing trend, over the last three games especially. Having held up well before Christmas, the average attendance at City’s home games is now 181 lower than predicted, though this does not of course include the attendances for the FA Cup games against Port Vale and Liverpool.
As supporters will appreciate, the recent gates have varied considerably compared to predictions, with swings reflecting the cup run; the postponement of the Oxford game (which probably reduced the turnout by approaching 1,000); the team’s performances; the positions of the away teams; and the League 2 table as a whole being very different for what was expected at the start of the season.
We will post the final figures after the end of the season.
The Gates Committee
The Gates Committee comprises members of Club staff, Club Board and Trust Board, and predicts home attendance for the season and also advises the Club Board on ticket pricing and other relevant issues.
This is important work because the Club is very reliant upon gate income – turnover from home attendances (including both season tickets and individual match revenue) is more than a third of the Club’s total for the season – and this prediction information plays an important role in setting and refining the budget assessments. Over many seasons this prediction exercise has proved very robust, usually being within 5% of the attendances achieved.
The procedure is that as soon as the fixtures for the coming season are published, usually in mid-June, three members of the Gates Committee make independent predictions of the potential attendance for each and every match, taking into account the date, day and time of kick-off, the status of the opponents etc. These assessments are then combined to give an overall projection. The panel also make a preliminary assessment in March each year, based on the Club’s league position at the time and possible promotion and relegations from the divisions above and below, which assists the Club Board in planning the budgets for the following season, since these need to be notified to the Manager and departmental heads well before the actual fixture list is known.
In projecting attendances they take into account all the information available, including past attendances, the previous league position of each club, their away following and the date of the game. The most important variable is that Tuesday evening games are for a variety of reasons less well attended than weekend ones, the typical attendance being as much as 20 per cent less that for a Saturday or Bank Holiday game against the same opposition, though revenue is not reduced by as much as there are fewer reduced price attendees and season ticket income is of course the same for all fixtures.