Bengaluru FC losing league and hearts

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The home stadium attendance of Bengaluru Football Club (BFC), former champions of the Indian Super League (ISL), has decreased by 50 percent compared to the previous season.

The market value and home stadium attendance of Bengaluru FC’s home matches have declined compared to last season’s ISL.

According to the ESPN website, Bengaluru FC had an average home attendance of 12,992 across 20 matches during their 2022-2023 season. However, in the current 2023-2024 season, they have achieved an average home attendance of 6,189 across 14 matches, which is  half of the average attendance they had in the previous season.

N Satish Kumar, manager of operations at Bengaluru FC said, “The team’s performance in the current season is not up to the mark, which may disappoint our fans. Additionally, our home matches in Bengaluru are scheduled on weekdays, making it difficult for people to watch the matches in the stadium.”

According to the ISL website there was a one month break in the 2023 – 2024 ISL season due to the Asia Cup which happened in January. This changed the league’s schedule.

Bengaluru FC fans say that the decrease in home match attendance is due to a perceived lack of loyalty towards the club.   Nikhil Dominic, a Bengaluru FC fan, said, “Our club is not doing well this season, but we have to support our club on the bad days too. We were runners-up last time and  had a lot more home viewership compared to this season.   Loyalty is not everyone’s cup of tea.”  

According to the India Super League (ISL) website, Bengaluru FC has   won three out of 14 matches in the current 2023 – 2024 season.

Ameer Naushad, a Bengaluru FC fan from Kerala, said, “I used to attend the matches between Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters at Kochi, which is the away stadium for Bengaluru FC. I don’t support Kerala in football, but the passion and atmosphere in Kochi is very different from what we see in Bengaluru FC matches. The passion for football is very high in Kerala, even though they haven’t won a single trophy. Despite this, we get to see a stadium full of supporters in Kochi.”

N Satish Kumar, another fan, said that they witness a packed stadium during the home matches of Bengaluru FC’s against Kerala Blasters, mainly filled with Kerala fans.  

According to the transfer market, Bengaluru FC has a market value of Rs. 37.8 crore in the current 2023-2024 season. This is a decrease from the 2022 – 2023 season’s market value of Rs. 44.36 crore. The highest market value Bengaluru FC ever had was in the 2020-2021 season, which was Rs. 51.86 crore.

Experts say that Bengaluru FC can boost their home attendance by inproving marketing and organizing their fan base. Aashir George, a sports analyst and football researcher at India on Track said “Bengaluru FC’s home stadium attendance is decreasing due to their poor performance in the league. To bring in more fans, the club needs to improve its marketing strategies and organize its fan army better.”

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