New figures have revealed Blackburn Rovers were the only team in the Championship last season to have more empty seats than fans on an average matchday.

These numbers were despite the Ewood Park club seeing some of their best gates since leaving the Premier League in 2012.

Ewood Park was 49.6 per cent full across the 2023/24 season across all competitions, with a mean attendance of 15,583 according to

The lowest gate - against Cardiff City in the League Cup third round, which Rovers won 5-2 - was just 5,371, with the second-lowest the first round of the League Cup, a 4-3 win over Walsall watched by 6,173 fans.

The lowest league attendance was 11,092, a Tuesday night game in December against Bristol City that Rovers won 2-1.

Attendances at Ewood tipped over the 50 per cent mark 11 times throughout the season, with the biggest crowds being for the FA Cup tie against Newcastle United, watched by 22,730, and the April 21 match against Sheffield Wednesday attended by 21,718.

The final home game against Coventry, and matches against Leeds United and local rivals Preston were the only other games to top 20,000 in the 31,367-capacity stadium.

Cardiff City - who had the second worst capacity-to-attendance ratio - were more than 10 percentage points ahead at 63 per cent full.

The mixed news for Rovers marks a five per cent increase from last year’s 14,772 average gate – when they were joined by fellow north-west side Wigan Athletic in having a typically less than half-full ground.

Despite the increase, Rovers still have the second-worst ticket sales in the league, falling well short of the average second-tier gate of 23,042.

Veteran Rovers fan of two decades, James Marsh, believes the club has the potential to pull in more fans.

He and other fans have said to do so matches need to be made more accessible and the matchday experience needs to be improved.

“The pricing isn’t affordable, we had the sixth most expensive season ticket prices last season, and I can’t imagine them coming down,” he said.

Ewood Park is the ninth largest EFL Championship stadium, James thinks “you could make the argument that the stadium is too big for a working-class town.”

Season ticket holder and sports writer, Chris O’Keefe, added: “The ground is far too big.  It creates a rubbish atmosphere most of the time.

“A single-tiered fishbowl stadium of say 20,000 capacity, like Blackpool’s, would be ideal.”

Fellow fan Josh Boswell wasn’t hopeful attendances would rise in forthcoming seasons unless supporters see improvement on the pitch.

He said: “Season tickets were up based off last year’s seventh place finish under John Dahl Tomasson and the excitement of a potential push.

“They’ll be down significantly next season because of the style of the new manager [John Eustace] and the rumoured price increase again.”

Adult season ticket prices at Ewood Park last season stood at £429, the sixth most expensive in the league, and £187 more expensive than those offered by second-tier counterparts QPR, who have the cheapest season tickets in the league.

“When it comes to around £1,000 to take a family to the football people will rightly start to find alternatives,” Rovers fan Daniel Ainsworth, 24, said.

He added: “Secondly, the fans hate the matchday experience. I live five minutes from the ground and it’s become a chore to come down.

“There’s nothing to do around the ground, it’s literally go to football and come home.”

Rovers fan and councillor, Noordad Aziz, is one of the few whose comments reflect last season’s turnstile progress.

He said: “We volunteered for the Ewood Express taking young people to the game, it felt more full than it did for years.”

Narrowly avoiding relegation, Blackburn finished 19th last season – beating the drop with a 2-0 victory over already-crowned champions Leicester City on the final day of the season.

Blackburn Rovers were approached for comment, but did not respond.