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Empty Seats Cost Premier League Clubs Millions

Wed 20th Feb 2013 | Money & Finance

Premier League clubs are scoring an ‘own goal’ by losing millions of pounds on seat revenue each season with empty seats estimated to be costing them up to £7 million per year in lost revenue.

Analysis from BDRC Continental’s Sports and Sponsorship Insight team has revealed that Premier League football clubs are losing out on valuable home game revenue by failing to maximise match day sales, resulting in empty seats and lost cross-selling opportunities from food, beverages and programmes.

At the top of the league are Aston Villa, with a missed home game opportunity just shy of £7 million each season. Hot on their heels are Sunderland, scoring a missed revenue opportunity of £6.5 million plus.

Wigan Athletic and Everton say goodbye to a potential £4.2 million and £3.1 million per season respectively. Newcastle, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion are also guilty of missing out on valuable revenues to the tune of £2.3 million, £2 million and £1.8 million respectively.

While the top seven register significant lost revenue opportunities, three further clubs still notch up more than £1million per season: QPR (£1,368,000), West Ham (£1,143,000) and Manchester City (£1,082,000). The rest restrict their lost revenue to less than £1 million. Swansea have the best performance in avoiding missed revenue, losing just £5,264 per match – or a shade over £100,000 per year – thanks to a 99% seat utilisation.

Mark Long, Director of Sports & Sponsorship at BDRC Continental, said: “Since the Premier League announced its new financial controls, top-flight teams need to address how they can turn this lost opportunity into valuable income. Under the new regime kicking off with the 2013/2014 season, any increase in match day revenue can help fund players so empty seats in the ground will have a direct impact on the quality of a club’s squad on the pitch.

“But it’s not just about slashing ticket prices to get supporters into the stadium; there is a balance to be achieved between attracting new fans and keeping loyal season ticket holders happy. And don’t forget the need to maximise on-site sales in the various retail outlets once fans are through the turnstiles. No two clubs are the same, however, so it’s never a ‘one size fits all’ solution. But through careful research and data analysis clubs can still move forward and optimise their fanbase to fill seats and impact the bottom line.”

Seats used

Ground Capacity

Average Premier League home crowd

Empty seats

Mean ticket price

PPT (pie + prog + tea )

Missed revenue per match

Missed revenue per season

Aston Villa

80.1%

42,551

34,084

8,467

35.00

8.30

366,621

£6,965,800

Sunderland

81.9%

49,000

40,171

8,829

31.00

8.00

344,331

£6,542,289

Wigan

74.4%

25,138

18,659

6,479

27.00

7.10

220,933

£4,197,744

Everton

91.2%

40,394

36,874

3,520

38.50

7.90

163,328

£3,103,232

Newcastle

94.7%

52,387

49,657

2,730

36.00

8.00

120,120

£2,282,280

Southampton

92.7%

32,689

30,496

2,193

39.50

8.20

104,606

£1,987,515

WBA

89.7%

28,003

25,080

2,923

25.00

8.10

96,751

£1,838,274

QPR

93.2%

19,148

17,851

1,297

47.50

8.00

71,983

£1,367,686

West Ham

97.1%

35,647

34,601

1,046

49.00

8.50

60,145

£1,142,755

Manchester City

97.7%

48,000

46,905

1,095

43.00

9.00

56,940

£1,081,860

 










Sources: Football365.com and BBC ‘Cost of Football’ survey.

Mean ticket price based on category B seats / published ticket prices rather than number of seats available in each category.

 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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