Win, lose or draw the Blasters are cheered on by a sea of yellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi…
At a time when most teams in the Indian Super League are struggling to turn profits. with some also finding it hard to fill seats, there is one exception to this wider phenomenon. That exception is the fans of southern outfit Kerala Blasters.
Irrespective of the results or the form of their team Blasters fans have turned out in their hundreds of thousands in the three seasons of the ISL so far. They were handsomely rewarded for their vociferous support in the inaugural edition of the tournament as their team reached the Final, only to be edged out by eventual champions Atletico de Kolkata.
A year later it was a reversal of fortunes as the Yellow brigade finished bottom of the table. This season too, they have started off poorly failing to win or score in any of their first three games. However, through thick and thin, if there is one thing that has not wavered, it is the faith of the fans in their team. It is an assertion borne out by the numbers.
Average attendance of first two season of Indian Super League .
The above table shows the average attendance at home games for ISL clubs in 2014 and 2015, respective to stadium capacity.
As the stats show this is a table of two halves. At one end there are teams like Blasters, FC Goa, FC Pune City, NorthEast United and Atletico de Kolkata who consistently filled out three quarters or more of their stadiums.
On the other hand, franchises like defending champions Chennaiyin, Delhi Dynamos and Mumbai City have been operating at almost less than 50% of their capacity. This season the team had a tough start losing and drawing their first two games, before hitting back with a spectacular run of five straight home wins, that saw them storm into the playoffs in second spot.
Kerala Blasters’ gates dwarf all other teams in ISL 3.
Their team’s form may have been up and down but the one thing that has not wavered is the steadfast support of the fans. Blasters’ seven home games this season have been attended by a whopping 340,282, with an average attendance of 48, 612.
The second highest gates go to NorthEast United as 187,104 piled into the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati with an average of 26,729. This is just less than half Blasters’ numbers. The figures drop away even more steeply as you go down the list.
As such, we must ask whether the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned franchise has the best fans in the ISL?
The Khel Now readers have spoken and 77% say the Blasters have the best set of fans. Tell us what you think.