Arsenal will attract another Norwich City record
The return of Premier League football to Carrow Road is proving a record-breaker – with the visit of Arsenal set to provide another landmark crowd.
Norwich City's average home gate for the season so far is the 12th best in the top flight at 26,309, nearly 1,000 up on their average in the Championship last season.
The 3-1 win over Swansea City on October 15 set a new all-seater record attendance for the stadium of 26,567, the Canaries' biggest home gate in all competitions since 1984.
But that record will last just a matter of weeks with the televised game against the Gunners on Saturday, November 19, already a sell-out for home and away fans. With Arsenal selling out their entire allocation of tickets, City could top the Swansea gate by about 200.
Their average of 26,309 for this season is better than eight Premier League clubs – including fellow promoted teams Swansea (19,661) and Queens Park Rangers (16,788) – and all 72 Football League clubs except West Ham (28,767).
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Fulham, West Bromwich Albion, Bolton, Blackburn, Wolves and Wigan are all playing to smaller home crowds than Paul Lambert's team.
All five of City's home gates so far have topped 26,000, and with Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea among the forthcoming attractions, there is little likelihood of that figure dwindling.
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Last season's promotion campaign drew the biggest crowds to Carrow Road for nearly 40 years, with the average league gate of 25,386 the best since 1972-73, the club's first season in Division One, when the figure was 28,652.
City are currently trying to find ways of increasing capacity before they decide on large-scale redevelopment aimed at taking Carrow Road up to 35,000 seats.
Chief executive David McNally told last week's fans' forum that they were looking at the possibility of putting extra seating in the vacant Barclay Stand-Jarrold Stand corner, overlooked by the Holiday Inn hotel. They are also keen to reduce the section of the Jarrold Stand left empty for segregation of home and away fans – but are bound by seating configurations set by the Safety Advisory Group.
City are hoping for another milestone against Arsenal – their first home win over the Gunners in the Premier League. They won their opening Premier League fixture 4-2 at Highbury in 1992 but have not beaten Arsenal at home in 11 attempts in all competitions since 1984.