It’s common knowledge that Lincoln City are currently enjoying a great period of time. Attendances are up, for the first time in my life we’re topping the charts for fans coming to games and we’re not doing too badly in the league either. Love it or loath it, Wembley is within reach in the EFL Trophy too and with money to spend in the transfer window things are only set to get better.
Our current average crowd of 8618 is the best in League Two, just ahead of Luton on 8200. It would even have us in the top ten of League One too, Rotherham currently have the tenth best average attendance with 8064. These are impressive numbers, but the growth percentages are even more impressive. When looking at year on year increases, we’re by far the best team in the whole country. Well, kind of.
The very best improvement has actually happened at Tottenham, but then they have left the 36,284 capacity White Hart Lane for 90,000 capacity Wembley, so perhaps that can account for their 127% increase. However, amongst sides that have remained in the same ground both seasons, we come out on top.
Second in the table are Forest Green Rovers which isn’t entirely surprising. There will be larger numbers of away fans coming to us and to them this season which would account for some increase. They’ve now grown to a whopping average of 2733, a 55% increase. Other sides promoted such as Millwall, Doncaster, Blackpool, Sheffield United and Huddersfield also feature.
Despite it being a give that crowds increase with promotion and a step up in visitor numbers, it is still remarkable the percentage increase we’ve enjoyed, especially considering last season we enjoyed a boost in attendances also. Our average of 5161 was a 99% increase on 2015/16. That means inside two seasons we’ve enjoyed around a 214% increase. Wow.
At the bottom of the table it makes grim reading for fans of another red and white striped team. Sunderland, rather predictably, have seen a massive decrease in people watching them play after their relegation and subsequent struggle in the Championship. Today’s opponents, Yeovil, have also seen a significant drop, although neither have seen as many fans fall away as we’ve had join the journey.
Whilst we could expect to see growth on the back of a successful season, these numbers really highlight the size and scale of our current popularity boom. With as many season tickets sold as our entire average last season growth was always inevitable, but aside from Spurs the scale is virtually unparalleled. The key now is to continue in the same vein through the season and ensure we remain top of this particular chart and, of course, in the top seven of the only really important chart: the League Two table.
If you haven’t already, why not order a copy of the latest Imps book to be released, Imperfect Focus. Featuring the excellent photography of Graham Burrell, this book takes you through the heroes and villains of the last 15 season. Just click on the picture below to buy it!