If you ever needed to know just how much the positivity at Newcastle United is down to Rafa Benitez, just take a look at the average attendances.

At St James Park, a total of 1,175,484 Newcastle fans (and visitors) have attended the 23 Championship games, at an average of 51,108.

Over the course of the 23 home matches, St James Park saw an astonishing 437,000 more fans attending than Villa Park, the Championship club with the next highest average (nineteen thousand less than Newcastle).

However, it is only when you take this season’s average attendances in a wider context, do you really get the true impact of the Rafa factor.

The 2000/01 season was the first after St James Park had been expanded to its current 52,000+ capacity.

In the first seven seasons the average only once dropped below 51,309, falling to 50,686 in 2006/07.

Mike Ashley took over ahead of the 2007/08 season and the following eight years after that initial season under the new owner, never saw NUFC achieve average attendances to match that lowest (50,686) figure before he arrived.

In fact five of the eight seasons saw the average fall under fifty thousand and drop as low as 47,717 in 2010/11 in the Premier League.

However, under Rafa Benitez, fans have flocked to support him and his team and despite the second tier football, this past season’s 51,108 average is the highest one since that early optimism of the first season after Ashley bought the club.

This proves a couple of things…

Firstly, given some hope and belief, Newcastle fans will turn up in massive numbers to support the team.

Secondly, even though so many supporters don’t trust/like Mike Ashley, they will ignore that if they have a Manager (and team) they can believe in and trust.

This has been a remarkable season in so many ways.

Pre-Mike Ashley Newcastle United average attendances:

2000/01 51,309

2001/02 51, 372

2002/03 51,923

2003/04 51,439

2004/05 – 51,844

2005/06 – 52,032

2006/07 – 50,686

Under Mike Ashley Newcastle United average attendances:

2007/08 – 51,320

2008/09 – 48,749

2009/10 – 43,387

2010/11 – 47,717

2011/12 – 49,935

2012/13 – 50,517

2013/14 – 50,395

2014/15 – 50,359

2015/16- 49,754

2016/17 – 51,108

average attendances

(Thanks to   @bigchrisholt for the season by season table of average attendances above).

Championship matches at St James Park 2016/17:

52,079 Newcastle v Huddersfield

48,209 Newcastle v Reading

49,196 Newcastle v Brighton

52,117 Newcastle v Wolves

48,236 Newcastle v Norwich

51,885 Newcastle v Brentford

51,963 Newcastle v Ipswich

51,257 Newcastle v Cardiff

52,092 Newcastle v Blackburn

52,145 Newcastle v Birmingham

52,179 Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday

52,228 Newcastle v Nottingham Forest

52,208 Newcastle v Rotherham

47,909 Newcastle v QPR

52,271 Newcastle v Derby

50,024 Newcastle v Aston Villa

52,131 Newcastle v Bristol City

51,903 Newcastle v Fulham

51,849 Newcastle v Wigan

48,814 Newcastle v Burton

52,301 Newcastle v Leeds

50,212 Newcastle v Preston

52,276 Newcastle v Barnsley

(Apologies – This article originally showed the 2007/08 season mistakenly before Mike Ashley too over, rather than being his first season)

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Andy Mac

    Somewhere in the anals (😉) of this and every other NUFC fan site there are messages from people who all said “All this club needs is a professional football MD to run the club and a successful, tactically aware man manager to coach the squad”

    So 1 out of 2 aint bad ? 🤔

  • Leazes Ender

    Seats on level seven ten years ago were £520…..per season

    Level seven is a creche now

    A seat on level seven to juniors is £68…. per season, representing a remarkable saving of £452.

    It saves the club having to expand the stadium….. ever wondered why matchday receipts and revenue are down under Ashley…. its not just the boycott on his goods!

    • Jimblag23

      In other articles writers may argue that is safeguarding our future.
      For example David Conn writes about Man City pricing out a generation of young fans.

      Just to add a counter argument.

      • Leazes Ender

        This is a generation after Hall and Shepherd blanked them out by building half a stadium, and Ashley has encouraged them in to fill the hole left by two very large scale boycotts.

        Everyone was paying premium prices…. don’t mistake it for benevolency…. Ashley and the Chronicle have been in cahoots to cover up the walk away.

        • Jimblag23

          Yeah you’re most probably right about that, I’m not saying Ashley does it out of charity for our future fans.
          But I am saying there is a silver lining to that black cloud.

    • Albert Stubbins

      level seven corner is full of younuns- rest of level seven is lads and dads and ex lads- fair play to the so called cresche as well- many a game this season they have kept singing throughout game and often through half time- I havent got a clue what songs they’re singing but they really do get behind the lads so a big thank you lads from an old fart like me who used to do the same twenty plus years ago!! NUFC SMB