Early Season Attendances

by , September 15, 2008

Saturday again produced a somewhat disappointing affair, with Forest failing to gain any points come 5 o’clock. However, it was not the slack defending or even the lack of creativity from the midfield that struck me most, but the overall attendance of the game.

As a man of routine when Forest play at the City Ground, I got myself down to one of the now many public houses in West Bridgford for pre-match drinks and idle chit-chat. Unlike the last Saturday that Forest played at home, the pub was rather empty. Inside the ground itself, Forest had managed to pull in a similar crowd to that of the Watford game, but it made me think, ‘Why have attendances been so average this season?’

Reading at home was the Reds first game back in the Championship and although the game was also broadcast on Sky, the 21,571 that made it to the City Ground still seemed a relatively low number. The opening fixture last season saw Forest face Bournemouth; no Sky this time, but a third consecutive season in League One – the attendance that day was 18,791.

It seems to me that the price inflation from last season to this is putting many people off. £27 is an adult ticket for this season, which to me is just extortionate. We all know about the ‘big bucks’ in football these days, but when Forest are playing against Burnley it certainly doesn’t make me think of a fantastic game of football and a good day out. No disrespect to Burnley in this matter, but it rather takes me back to those dark days of League One; of the visits of Port Vale, Northampton, and Huddersfield.

The ‘Kids for a Quid’ and ‘All for a Fiver’ ticketing schemes have worked wonders at bringing in large crowds for the ‘not too appetising’ fixtures and it therefore surprised me when on Saturday I found out that Burnley was not one of those contests pencilled in for this seasons ‘deal games’. Instead I was told that the first game to have a pecuniary incentive added on to it shall be when Crystal Palace visit the City Ground on the 4th October, which will be a ‘Kids for a Quid’ game.I can only hope that those that did go to the match on Saturday were left not quite as down hearted as I was. For all those non-season ticket holders who forked out nearly £30 for what could quite have easily been a League One game, I hope that Forest choose their ticketing deals for more suitable fixtures in the future.

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