As you know, we love a bit of number crunching at Lewes FC. We’re getting better at it year on year, so we wanted to share some top findings and takeaways from last season’s stats for the geeks amongst you!
Takeaway 1 | We love all 32,648 of you
The combined total club attendance rose by 28% this season hitting 32, 648 – up from 25,571 last season.
Lewes FC men saw an increase of 7% in their total attendance while there was an increase of a whopping 84% of fans attending the Lewes FC women’s games.
Why? Well, lots of reasons we can bore you with – but one thing to note is that both teams played an additional 3 home games each this season, all 6 of which were in cup competitions. This shows just how positive a cup run (with lots of home draws!) can be.
We’re delighted with our club record attendance for our FA Cup Quarter Final game v Manchester Utd in March and we know we made a lot of new fans there. We generated £23,129 in ticket sales for the game for the 2801 who joined us.
Takeaway 2 | All things being equal.
This season, the average matchday attendance between the men and the women differs by just 2 people! The average attendance per game across both the teams rose by 9% to 796 attendees. The women’s average attendance exceeded the men’s, growing by 50% to 797. The men’s games saw the average attendance decrease by 6% to 795.
Why the big jump in the women’s games? Why the slight decrease on the men’s side? That leads us on to Takeaway 3
Takeaway 3 | Weekends are best
In addition to having a fab team, a surge in understanding the quality and connectivity of the women’s game and a great matchday experience, the Continental cup (league cup) was moved from Wednesdays to Sundays for the 2022/23 season. This, along with a stellar FA Cup run, including three home draws and the quarter-final against Manchester United generated an average 1,134 attendees for the four cup games played on the weekend. In contrast, we played not a single ‘cup’ home game on a weekend in the 2021/22 season.
Meanwhile, the men played just 10 league games on a weekend, five fewer than the previous season, and the same as our women’s team – even though our women’s team is in a league almost half the size.
Three of the cancelled league games were postponed and shifted to a Tuesday night, bumping up our Tuesday night league games to 8 from 5 in 2021/22. Our attendance on a Tuesday evening naturally drops – on Saturday the men averaged 848 compared to 544 on a Tuesday. That is one of the reasons for the slight decline on average (but not total) attendance, as we will see in Takeaway 4.
Takeaway 4 | Postponements hurt
The club loses an average of £5,000 revenue for every game moved from a Saturday to a Tuesday. What’s more, that only includes ticket sales, hospitality and club shop – not the other operational costs which are expensed if the game is called off at the last minute. In 2022/23, three Saturday games were called off by the referees due to various reasons, which resulted in at least a loss of £15,000 in revenue. The circumstances of such cancellations are almost always beyond our control.
Takeaway 5 | You are liking the gear and the beer.
The overall matchday spend per person has gone up by 9% in season 22-23 at £5.83 per person. The heftiest slice is on the bar (you’re averaging £4.20 on your kombuchas, colas and ale) and the rest split across our pies, loaded fries and merch stand. Saturday games prove thirsty work – bar spend on men’s games is about twice what it is for women’s games on Sundays, even though bar spend at women’s games increased by 106% this season. However, people at women’s games spend double those at men’s games on the merch. Having been in early retirement last season, the matchday club shop pulled itself together at Christmas time and generated £23,000 during the second half of the season alone.
Takeaway 6: There are lots of new people coming in (welcome!)
The average men’s attendance for a bank holiday fixture increased by 28% to 1,347. A bank holiday fixture is usually when new fans come to watch a game and that growth shows a steady increase in ‘new’ and ‘occasional’ Lewes FC fans. That then trickled through to a slow but steady 3% attendance increase on cold and wet Tuesday evenings.
Adult tickets sold per game increased slightly by 2%, similar to the growth rate in complimentary U16 tickets issued, but there was a big 24% increase in the number of concession tickets sold (students, age 65+ and people with disabilities). We received some really positive feedback from local groups supporting people with disabilities who said that some of our changes to improve accessibility and inclusion meant people were finally able to get to games regularly again. And we’ve been trying to create closer ties with the local universities to encourage more students in too.
Takeaway 7: We know who you are
Well, a little. The demographic splits have become pretty even across the two sides. 49% of the crowd at men’s games are adults, compared to 46% at women’s games. The difference emerges with concessions which make up 9% of women’s crowds, but 18% of men’s crowds. Children are roughly equal (16% at women’s games, 13% at men’s games) and comps (including season tickets, central and club sponsors, broadcast and media, pathway and club staff and league officials) are higher at women’s games (29% to 20% at men’s games).
Takeaway 8 | We’re all getting better with technology.
There is an overall increase of 35% in the number of prepaid tickets sold across both teams. Paying in advance is not only cheaper for you, but really helpful for the club as it allows us to plan and prepare better as well as communicate to people in advance and after and get their feedback on their matchday experience. Thank you for that – please carry on!
We will be keeping our ticket prices the same for next season, mindful that everyone is struggling with cost of living increases, and we will be releasing our season tickets soon, so make sure you pick one up quickly, for even more of a discount!