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La Liga teams could have full stadiums soon- if regional governments agree

La Ceramic could be at max capacity soon.

Villarreal CF v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When the season began, stadiums in Spain were allowed 40% capacity. This has since been bumped up to 60% depending on the will of regional governments. Each time, the Valencian region has gone with the max of whatever the Spanish authorities have allowed.

Starting October 1st, full attendance will be allowed at all Spanish stadiums if their regional governments agree. What I really haven’t seen anyone talk about too much is that for many clubs, this really won’t make that big a difference, even if their regional governments do accept the national policy. For example, in 2018-2019, the last season not impacted by the pandemic, Villarreal averaged 16,660 fans per match. The listed capacity for La Ceramica is 24,890 seats, and the attendance high for that non-impacted season was 19,349. The average of 16,660 represents only 67% of actual seats filled when there are no restrictions whatsoever.

You may be able to find slight variance in these numbers one way or another, but the point remains. In Spain, stadiums are rarely maxed out to full capacity even when it is allowed, so while we will benefit from larger crowds for Champions League matches and the occasional visit from big rivals or heavyweights, we won’t have that many more people- therefore not that much extra revenue or fan noise- from this change in policy.

It will still be good to get the capacity limit lifted. It will make it a bit easier for non-season ticket holders to get tickets, and when a club like Manchester United comes to play in our building we’ll be able to pack it out, but materially, having the capacity listed at 60% vs having it at 100% will not make that big a difference to how many people are in the stands for most La Liga clubs.