CARDIFF CITY have a vast untapped reservoir of support living close to their new stadium, a major survey has revealed.
It is one of the key findings of a questionnaire in which more than 200 local people were asked by Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust for their views and attitude to Cardiff City Football Club and watching football.
The survey found that one-third of football fans living near the stadium had never watched the Bluebirds play, despite the fact that club’s attendances have averaged more than 20,000 for their first four league games at their new home.
The findings were given at a specially-organised event on Thursday night, September 24th, organised by the Trust, partnered by the British Council.
Around 100 local people attended, along with representatives of the Trust and Cardiff City management and players. SA Brain has also provided sponsorship for the event.
The key findings include:
· Of the 82 per cent who watched football, a total of 30 per cent said they had never watched Cardiff City play.
· 72 per cent of those interviewed intended to visit the new stadium. But of this group 36 per cent had only ever seen the Bluebirds play 2-9 times. 19 per cent had been to a match just once.
· 80 per cent of those intending to visit the new stadium have watched Cardiff City play before which means that 20 per cent are potential new supporters
· Among the comments about what they enjoyed about watching Cardiff City were “supporting my local team” “great atmosphere” and “cheap for teenagers”.
· Among the comments about why they didn’t watch the City were “price of tickets”, “time, family commitments”, “bad behaviour and people standing up”.
· People were also asked what would encourage them to go to matches. Among the answers were promotion, cheaper prices and family ticket deals, free parking and ‘taster’ tickets.
Trust board member Tracey Marsh, who organised the survey and event, said: “The survey reveals that there is untapped support among football fans living around the stadium with a significant number of those questioned not having watched Cardiff City more than nine times. It is up to the football club and organisations like the Trust to encourage those people to come along more often.
“If football fans did not have a great experience at Ninian Park, which some told us was the case, then we need to highlight the fantastic state-of-the-art facilities at the new stadium.
“We organised the questionnaire to get a better understanding of the feelings of the local community towards the football club. Following this event we hope that they feel they can communicate with the club.”
Tracey Marsh said that she believed the club could offer tours of the stadium for local communities to look at the stadium’s facilities which, she hoped, would lead to many of them coming to watch matches or attend functions.
“While this event is about those living near the Cardiff City stadium, this certainly won’t be the end of our work. We want to follow it up and spread the message with events in the Valleys or the Bridgend area, where there is also an opportunity to attract new supporters.”
Tim Hartley, the Trust’s Vice Chairman, will brief the audience on the results of the questionnaire. The British Council are also showing a short film on the benefits of linking sport and the communities while Cardiff City Football Club will spell out what they hope to achieve by working in and with the community.