Exeter City Football Club are pleased to report that home attendances at St James Park for the season 2014/15 held up well and averaged 3,863, which was 212 per match above our forecast of 3,651.
Click here to view a table of predictions with comparison to accurate statistics for our home games in 2014/15.
As part of our normal information flow to supporters, the attendance figures for each game are published in the subsequent programme, and the Club also publishes at the end of each season a detailed analysis of attendances compared to those predicted by a panel of members of its Gates Committee (comprising members of Club staff, Club Board and Trust Board, under an independent Chair), which also advise 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 per cent 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, previous away contingent, and other necessary factors. 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 games, 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.
The actual gate figures are monitored regularly by the Gates Committee against the predictions as the season progresses. The actuals compared to predictions for 2014/15 show that, apart from the start of the season when we were doing very badly, we finished comfortably above prediction. The stand-out adverse variances is Cambridge, where we got the attendance for a midweek game badly wrong. The large positive variance for Luton reflects their league position at the time and fantastic away support, and the Plymouth figure vindicates the decision to allocate them additional seats. Easter Monday’s adverse variance for Newport may relate to the kick-off being moved to 1pm.
The detailed statistics for last season (including predicted gates against actual attendances) are also available by clicking here.