The English Football League, which operates the three divisions below the top-tier Premier League, has announced that the number of season ticket-holders across its competitions has surpassed 500,000 for the first time in living memory.
The EFL said the figure was evidence of a “growing appetite for live football” in the Championship, League One and League Two.
According to the EFL’s figures, there are 326,000 season ticket-holders in the second-tier Championship, while the third-tier League One accounts for 117,000. The fourth-tier League Two currently has 59,000 season ticket-holders.
The EFL notes that there has been a 26-per-cent growth in season ticket-holders from 2007 to this season, with the figure having increased from 398,390 to 502,826.
The EFL also pointed to cheaper matchday tickets as a reason for the growing numbers. Recent analysis showed that the average admission price across all 72 EFL clubs was £13.11 per supporter, down from £14.08 in 2014-15.
Football is also becoming increasingly affordable for concessions and families, with over 50 clubs providing admission for £5 or less, with a further 15 teams in Leagues One and Two offering free access for some age groups.
The number of junior season ticket-holders in the EFL has risen by 37 per cent over the past 10 years, with more than 20 per cent of all attendees now aged under 16.
EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “It is testament to the dedication and innovative approach clubs are taking to recruit season ticket-holders that we are able to celebrate this collective landmark for the EFL.
“It is clear to see that football has never been so popular, nor has it ever been so competitively priced with great value for money being provided across the three divisions.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see so many new ideas being implemented to encourage families to attend and ensure that kids are given a taste of live EFL football at an early age – an experience and a thrill that we hope will stay with them for a lifetime.”