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No panic over fall in Sixways crowd numbers
WARRIORS chief executive Charles Cameron admits attendances have been disappointing so far this term, but expects numbers to pick up as the team find their feet.
Although the general trend across all Aviva Premiership sides has seen a drop in fans going to the games, Worcester’s gates are significantly lower than this time last year despite the appointment of new director of rugby Dean Ryan.
After three home games of the 2012-13 season, which were against Bath, Gloucester and London Irish, 24,982 supporters had been through the Sixways turnstiles for an average of 8,327 per match. However, the first three home outings this term, when Irish, Harlequins and Newcastle visited, have seen just 20,674 fans attending at an average of 6,891 per fixture.
That equates to an average loss of nearly 1,500 supporters attending Warriors’ home games, which will no doubt be a cause for concern at Sixways, but Cameron recognises this and is hopeful of an increase as the season goes on.
He said: “All across Premiership Rugby, attendances are about nine per cent down year-on-year and we think that is in connection with having three live games on television over the weekend through the BT Sport deal.
“Our attendances are down slightly more than that, which is disappointing, but that recognises the fact we have lost a significant number of matches on the trot.
“I think once the side starts winning matches, the fans will start to come back and enjoy the rugby again.”
Poor value-for-money from the Sixways match-day experience has been cited by some of the stay-away fans as a reason for not going to games, but Cameron feels a lot of hard work is being done to improve this area.
He added: “You can get a seat in the stadium from £23 which I think is value for money.
“We put in a lot of improvements during pre-season and have only had one Friday night game so far to see the new floodlights working.
“We have also improved the PA system in the South Stand, which the fans asked us to do, so we are doing a lot of things to improve the match-day experience.
“We have also put in a family area behind the North Stand where children can meet Maximus (Warriors’ mascot) and some of the players before games.
“We are trying new things — we don’t always get them right, but we believe we have improved the match-day experience at Sixways.
“We have also trialled our new song — some people like it, others don’t. There are two elements to it — the song itself and the video.
“I think the song is good, but there has been a mixed view of it. It is not everyone’s cup of tea but we will be keeping it.
“It is going to be a tough season but it is important the fans keep faith with the team and our players.”