Newcastle help swell Championship attendances over Christmas by whopping 25%

Newcastle fans at St James's Park
Newcastle fans at St James's Park

The Championship has recorded a 25% increase in Boxing Day crowds – thanks to another sell-out crowd at St James's Park.

Newcastle United's game against Sheffield Wednesday attracted a gate of 52,179, which was the third-highest in English football that day.

Tomorrow night's home match against Nottingham Forest has also sold out.

A statement from the EFL said: "Over half a million football fans attended EFL matches over Christmas as EFL clubs welcomed bumper crowds that ranked as some of the highest in the country and surpassed the average attendances of some of Europe’s biggest leagues.

"The Boxing Day fixture list, which this year incorporated matches on Tuesday 27 December, is renowned as one of the most popular days in the football calendar and the stats once again illustrate clearly that the Christmas tradition of attending a match is still going strong.

"Matches from all three divisions of the EFL boasted a combined attendance of more than 500,000 – a 7% increase from the same period last year. Championship clubs experienced a 25% increase.

"More than 300,000 fans turned out for matches in the Sky Bet Championship alone – an average of over 25,000 across the 12 festive fixtures – and it was Newcastle United who had the highest overall attendance in the EFL and the fourth highest attendance of any match in the country with over 52,000 supporters witnessing the home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

"That attendance would see the Toon Army outnumber average attendances in the Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga, as would the gate of 41,337 at Villa Park as Aston Villa welcomed the sixth highest attendance in the country for their game against Burton Albion.

"Elsewhere in the Sky Bet Championship, both the Amex Stadium and Pride Park welcomed more than 30,000 fans for respective home wins for Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County."

Second-placed Newcastle's average attendance this season is 50,917.

Top 10 EFL fixtures (Boxing Day and Tuesday 27 December)

1. Newcastle United v Sheffield Wednesday (Championship) – 52,179

2. Aston Villa v Burton Albion (Championship) – 41,337

3. Derby County v Birmingham City (Championship) – 32,616

4. Brighton & Hove Albion v QPR (Championship) – 30,176

5. Sheffield United v Oldham Athletic (League One) – 25,821

6. Wolves v Bristol City (Championship) – 24,669

7. Huddersfield Town v Nottingham Forest (Championship) – 22,100

8. Bradford City v Scunthorpe United (League One) – 21,874

9. Preston North End v Leeds United (Championship) – 21,255

10. Reading v Norwich City (Championship) – 21,180