Unbelievable support makes City top of the charts
Chris LakeyThis month's Carrow Road battle of League One's big two has been sold out as the Canaries continue to attract fans in their droves. The house full signs have gone up for the March 27 meeting of Norwich City and Leeds United - a full 25 days before kick-off.Chris Lakey
This month's Carrow Road battle of League One's big two has been sold out as the Canaries continue to attract fans in their droves.
The house full signs have gone up for the March 27 meeting of Norwich City and Leeds United - a full 25 days before kick-off.
City are expecting a 25,000-plus crowd, with Leeds having already sold out their maximum 2,200 ticket allocation, although segregation issues may mean it won't be the biggest crowd of the season. That remains the 25,506 who saw City beat Hartlepool 2-1 on January 30.
The fixture brings together the two best-supported teams in League One, with Norwich topping not just the football table but also the average attendances list.
City's average is 24,616 - 482 more than the Yorkshire club and more than 4,000 better than Southampton, who have the third highest average attendance in the division.
Attendances at Carrow Road, which this season is hosting third tier football for the first time in half a century, are the highest since the ground was redeveloped into its current form back in 2005, when the Aviva Community Stand was opened.
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The numbers coming to watch City have fallen just twice since City's promotion season of 2003-04, when the old South Stand was being redeveloped. Even during last season's miserable slide down the Championship table towards relegation, the average gate was still 24,542 - better than six teams in the Premier League.
'The attendance for the Leeds game won't be a million miles away from the best of the season because every other seat in the ground has already been sold - but, yes, there is a loss due to segregation,' said customer services manager Richard Gough.
'The football club has just got absolutely unbelievable support - the queue outside the office here is almost constant.
'The amount of people who are calling to buy tickets for games and buying season tickets and memberships just backs that up.
'The manager has been really clear how well this football club is supported and what it means and that comes across. We were extremely well supported even last year when things were not going so well.
'We have got ourselves the best part of 20,000 season ticket holders and while we in Norwich and Norfolk know all about the level of support we enjoy, I think around the country sometimes people are surprised.
'Look at Millwall - we took 3,000 fans there and they opened the lower tier, which I don't think they have done before.'
The only possibility of obtaining a ticket for the Leeds game is through the buy-back process, but there will be no peace for Gough and his staff, who are gearing up for Saturday, the first deadline for season ticket renewals.
t City's average crowds
2003-04:18,866 (Jarrold Stand rebuilding)
2004-05:24,350 (Premier League)
t Leading current League One averages
1. Norwich 24,616
2. Leeds 24,134
3. Southampton 20,426
4. Charlton 16,815
5. Huddersfield 14,153
6. MK Dons 10,064