Survey results are in!

Largest ever survey of City fans shows huge demand for unregimented matchday experience

Bristol, 30.01.2015. The Bristol City Supporters Club & Trust has today published the results of what is believed to be the largest survey of Bristol City fans ever conducted (full report here). Over 3,000 fans, equivalent to more than 1 in 4 City supporters at home league games this season, have given their views on issues such as unreserved seating, singing sections, standing and even the use of industrial language in songs and chants. The primary finding is that the overwhelming majority favour an informal atmosphere with proper provision made for those who want to sing, stand and mingle with like-minded fans in an unreserved area.

The survey was conducted online and ran for just 10 days, from 20th to 29th January. The survey link was mailed to 6,650 City fans via the Club & Trust’s database and further distributed via supporters’ Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, websites and forums. An article on the official Football Club website generated 260 of the total of 3,081 responses. In order to prevent malicious spamming of the survey, responses were restricted to one per IP address.

The survey questions were compiled and drafted by members of the Club & Trust board. Bristol Sport executives were given advance sight of the draft. One minor amendment to the terminology was subsequently agreed and three questions on ticket purchasing habits added.

Respondents covered all ages, both sexes and fans from all parts of Ashton Gate, the largest number being Dolman Stand regulars.

Headline bullet-point findings are shown below, with the full results shown in this accompanying document. Also provided as an appendix are additional free-hand comments from over 550 fans. Further analysis of the findings, drilling down into the data to examine sub-group responses will follow in the coming days.

Commenting on the aims of the survey, Club & Trust chair Stuart Rogers said:

“We believe it is vital that fans have a voice at our football club. We identify areas for improvement and make representation to football club officials, always endeavouring to provide solutions. The response to this latest survey has been stunning, demonstrating that fans do care and are prepared to make an effort to show it. This is a strong evidence base which we believe should shape future decisions affecting supporters.” 

The survey findings will be presented to Bristol City and Bristol Sport officials. They will also be discussed by the Supporters Club & Trust at its meeting on February 4th (7.30pm in The Rising Sun on Ashton Road – all welcome) and, it is anticipated, at the Fan Advisory Network (FAN) meeting at Ashton Gate on February 12th. The Club & Trust will in due course present to Bristol City and Bristol Sport a number of suggestions designed at implementing the wishes of the fans, as expressed in these survey results.


Headline results

  • 82% hope that “the East End’s informal atmosphere can be recreated”
  • 79% want a singing section
  • 84% want at least one area of unreserved seating
  • 84% want a pragmatic approach taken to standing in a singing section

Singing section

  • 79% of respondents want one
  • 91% agree that a singing section will be key to generating a good overall atmosphere
  • For next season, 53% want it in the South Stand, preferably at the back (40%)
  • For 2016 onwards, those figures rise to 61% and 45% respectively
  • 51% would definitely or probably get a ticket for a singing section offering a pragmatic approach to standing
  • 96% of those who want to go in a singing section would expect tickets there to be the cheapest in the ground or to cost no more than others in the same stand
  • 89% of those who want to go in a singing section would like the option to pay on the day

Unreserved seating

  • 84% of respondents think there should be at least one area of unreserved seating
  • 44% would prefer their own ticket to be for such an area
  • Favoured locations for unreserved seating next season are Back of the South Stand (44%), Front of the South Stand (29%) and Block A of the Dolman (19%)
  • Favoured locations for unreserved seating from 2016 onwards are Back of the South Stand (47%), Front of the South Stand (31%) and Block A of the Dolman (22%)

Industrial language

  • 83% of respondents enjoy or are unbothered by songs containing industrial language
  • Songs containing industrial language were rated the least likely to get all fans joining in

Flags, street art etc.

  • 77% would like a designated area in a singing section where flags can be hung up or laid out
  • 75% would like a big flag surfed across a singing section
  • 60% would like a designated area in a singing section for street art created by fans
  • 58% would like to see lots of big flags on long poles in a singing section
  • Only 26% would like the club to provide fans in a singing section with small flags to wave

Approach to standing

  • 84% want a pragmatic approach taken to standing in a singing section
  • Of the 51% who would definitely or probably get a ticket for a singing section offering a pragmatic approach to standing, nearly half would not do so if zero tolerance to standing was announced
  • 69% of respondents think zero tolerance elsewhere is fair enough as long a pragmatic approach to standing is taken in one area
  • 50% want to stand in any future area fitted with rail seats; a further 22% are undecided

Impact of no singing section / unreserved seating / pragmatic approach to standing

  • 60% of respondents would come to fewer games / find their visits less enjoyable if there was no singing section, no unreserved seating and no tolerance of standing

The full, question-by-question results, plus over 560 additional comments and suggestions made by fans responding to the survey can be read as PDF documents by clicking here: Survey results for publication 300115

Thank you to 3,081 fans who took part!

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