MANAGING director Peter Kelly is working with other Gallagher Premiership clubs to find ways of boosting Worcester Warriors’ attendance.

Kelly is determined to attract more fans to Warriors’ matches and is hopeful of getting a further 1,500 spectators through the Sixways turnstiles by the end of this term.

According to Warriors’ attendances have suffered more than any other top-flight club over the past decade, with their average gate after the first three home matches dropping from 10,088 in the 2008-09 season to 7,536 in the 2018-19 campaign.

But Kelly insisted the issue of declining turnouts was being felt across the league and stressed the importance of clubs working together to solve the problem.

“We have to attract more fans here – that’s the first stage,” Kelly said.

“You have got to have a stadium that’s got 9,000 to 10,000 people here every time we have a match on as that’s our main revenue driver.

“It’s also about the future of rugby.

“The whole of Premiership rugby used to have higher attendances than they do now.

“People worry about the influence of TV but that didn’t happen to football so it’s not that.

“It’s something else. It could be the expense or that people don’t understand what’s going on.

“I believe that we should do a bit more education on the screens so when a decision is made you tell them what it is and why.”

Kelly who joined Warriors as operations director a year ago said Warriors’ average attendance was “about 7,500” last season.

But he added: “We can get 11,500 in here so I want it to go up to 9,000 if we can.

“It might not average out like that, but if we can get off to a good start to the season then in the second half we should be averaging 9,000.”

Warriors' highest attendance this term came when 8,598 spectators watched the league defeat to Exeter Chiefs last month. But the club have launched a campaign to fill the 11,499-capacity Sixways when they host London Irish on Saturday (3pm).

With Warriors failing to finish outside the bottom three since 2006, Kelly acknowledged that the team’s performance was a contributing factor to lower gate numbers.

However he insisted it was also important to ensure the club provided a “great experience” on a match-day.

“Wifi, lights, PA system, screens and fan zone are five major things that cost a fortune,” said Kelly who is on Warriors’ board along with fellow new director Michael Davies and co-owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring.

“Other grounds haven’t got that because the owners haven’t chucked the money in to do it yet.

“We have because we believe it builds fan engagement which will pay for itself eventually.

“Other clubs haven’t quite got there yet. But there are things that other clubs are better than us at which is why I am going to other clubs and talking to CEOs and MDs.

“We had a meeting recently with all of us. It was great as I came back with two pages of ideas.

“We are going to work together because Premiership sides aren’t competitors.

“If you think they are, they are not.

“Gloucester are a competitor on that field but off it they are not.

“Let’s pool ideas for the good of Premiership rugby rather saying 'I’m going to tell you what I am doing. We have got there now.”


Sat, Sept 21: Leicester Tigers (Cup) - 6,037.

Fri, Oct 4: Exeter Chiefs (Cup) - 6,743.

Sat, Oct 19: Leicester Tigers (Prem) - 7,740.

Sun, Nov 3: Exeter Chiefs (Prem) - 8,598.

Sat, Nov 30: Sale Sharks (Prem) - 8,409.

Sat, Dec 7: Dragons (Euro) - 6,889.