Carrow Road to play host to biggest crowd for 26 years
Norwich City are guaranteed record-breaking attendances at their next two home matches – with the East Anglian derby against Ipswich Town to be watched by the biggest crowd at Carrow Road for 26 years.
The Canaries are expecting a gate of about 26,300 for the sell-out Championship visit of Leeds United on Saturday, the biggest since the stadium became all-seater in 1992, including a contingent of 2,300 visiting fans.
But the record will last only eight days because the televised game against Ipswich on Sunday, November 28, which is also sold out, will top that figure with a gate of 26,450, of which 2,450 will be Town supporters. Both matches will comfortably beat City's all-seater record gate of 25,522 for the 2-0 Premiership win over Manchester United in April 2005, and the stadium all-seater best of 25,749 for England Under-21s' 2-1 victory over Romania last month.
The last time Carrow Road topped the 26,000 mark was on April 1, 1989, when the visit of Liverpool for a Division One top-of-the-table encounter drew 26,338, at a time when the whole of the Barclay Stand and the River End lower tier were still standing areas.
The Leeds attendance may just squeeze past that figure, but the Ipswich gate definitely will, making it the biggest home crowd since February 1, 1984, when 26,811 watched City beat Tottenham 2-1 in an FA Cup fourth round replay.
City currently have the third highest average crowd in the Championship at 24,720, bettered only by Derby and Leeds, with the best gate so far this season reaching 25,410, for the Middlesbrough game.
The Canaries installed 1,000 extra seats during the summer to take the stadium capacity to 27,000, but segregation of rival fans means the maximum capacity is seldom attainable.