The game with Treviso on Friday 27th November will be the Warriors’ 50th competitive fixture at Scotstoun Stadium since making it their permanent home at the start of the 2012/13 season. After leaving Firhill and moving 5 miles along the road, Glasgow have managed to make Scotstoun a bit of a fortress in the Pro 12 (although European competition has been much harder going). Attendance among the Warrior Nation has grown year on year as sports fans in the west of Scotland have come to appreciate the venue and the quality of rugby on show.
The team have put together a fine record across their first 49 matches at Scotstoun, including a 22 month, 20 match winning run in the Pro 12 that encompassed the entire 2014/15 season and was the foundation of their charge to the title:
No team in the Pro 12 has won more home league games across the past 3 years than the Warriors. Saturday’s loss to Northampton in the Champions’ Cup was only the 3rd occasion across the past 3+ seasons where the home side have come away completely empty handed (the others were against Ulster in the HC and Dragons in the league) with the bare minimum of a losing bonus point being picked up in 8 of the 11 defeats.
The Warriors’ 1,000th point at Scotstoun came courtesy of Scott Cummings when he crashed over against Connacht in the second match of the 2015/16 campaign.
Crowd numbers have been on an upward trend from the moment the Warriors first stepped onto the Scotstoun turf for a competitive fixture:
The numbers above only include the 14 ‘regular’ season fixtures in the Pro 12 and HC. Adding in the 10,000 fans through the gates in each playoff semi final takes the total to 285,167 and averages to 5,915 (2013/14) and 6,654 (2014/15). Overall the average attendance is up over 50% from Glasgow’s final season at Firhill and based on current rates the 300,000th paying punter will cross the threshold at the Heineken Cup match against the Scarlets.
Anybody who attended opening night at Scotstoun and who turns out for the game against Treviso more than 3 years later will notice the difference in the venue. 2 extra stands; a big screen; Warriors memories and branding everywhere; a matchday experience that tries to involve the fans as much as possible. The management of the club have tried to get the absolute best out of the stadium and have lead us to the point where sell outs are becoming the norm.
The elephant in the room though is how do Glasgow Warriors continue to grow? Selling out consistently in the short term has some attractions as it makes the tickets even more desirable. But longer term potential fans are missing out. Referring back to the figures above it can be seen that growth looks to be stalling this season but that’s simply because there was hardly anywhere left to go after last season – and that was before the team had the cachet of being champions.
As we stand on the verge of Scotstoun’s 50th occasion hosting the Warriors we look back with fondness at the memories that have been created there; but we also look forward and ask the question – will we see another 50 games on Danes Drive?