I’m actually asking this as a genuine question rather than attempting to ignite our readers into a chanting frenzy.
The Second Coming by Kevin Baldwin. If you haven’t read it, do so. A fantastic read, well written, and a lovely match-by-match insight into the return of Mike Walker.
I’m on my second reading but it’s as interesting as the first. It also throws up some lovely memories of games/results that I remember from what would have been my lower sixth.
The only game I attended that season was Portsmouth (a) with my dad. We won 1-0 courtesy of an Ian Crook long-range daisy cutter.
But whilst page-turning, I was once again struck by how low our attendances were.
11,947 v Portsmouth (h)? Incredulous. I was fortunate enough to have been able to get into UEA and seeing as my dad had relocated us from Aylsham to Glastonbury in 1987, growing up I had only seen us play in the flesh a meagre three times.
But that all changed in 1998 whilst at the UEA. Namely ‘In for a quid’ for category C games – a ploy aimed at getting the unemployed into Carrow Road, as a stooodent’. I qualified rather nicely for this and ended up on rather a few occasions watching us play for less than the price of the programme. My ticket stub probably cost more to produce… some games were great, some weren’t.
Oxford at home was a real low point. A 3-1 loss with the crowd at 17,000.
The average attendance that season? 15,000.
Barely believable by today’s standards. Of course, other games were better attended, full house vs Ipswich for example, and incidentally Robert Green’s debut. But over my three years at uni, attendances were, quite simply, awful.
Delve even further back in time, and despite topping the Premier League, the average attendance that season – 16,453. For a team that could have won the inaugural Premier League. Bonkers!
I’ve always attributed the change in attendance to the Playoff final in Cardiff, ultimately unsuccessful, but nevertheless, attendances since then have soared and remained a remarkable constant despite dropping into League One.
On further inspection, it appears that it was the 2004-05 season where our attendances hit the real heights and remained ever since. And, yes, I’m well aware of the increase in capacity, but this does not account for the much larger percentage increase.
So I’m genuinely curious as to your thoughts/reasons for the change in our attendances. To have 23,428 vs Wycombe at home (2009) in League One (incidentally my first return to Carrow Road since 2002 with my dad) yet also have 27,035 home to Man City really is remarkable.
What made you attend circa 2004 onwards?
I longed for an atmosphere at Carrow Road in the late 90s and unless you were in the lower Barclay or the Snake Pit, it was a touch on the quiet side. I sense there was a real yearning for groups such as Along Come Norwich to try and instil volume, atmosphere, colour and the most roaring, rasping, rapacious fans.
And what a great job they’ve done.
Carrow Road (pre-COVID) has simply been a delight to visit. A real cauldron, akin to even, dare I say it, Dortmund. But this was all post attendance increase.
So what was it that caused you to start attending, or even to come back to the Carra?
And for god’s sake, Boris, listen to Delia and let the bloody fans back in. Disclaimer – safely, of course.
The link to see our attendances season-by-season is here.