Posted on January 25, 2014

The Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS), in cooperation with QFA and the Sports Statistics Technical Committee in Qatar, conducted an electronic survey on the reasons behind audience reluctance to attend football matches during the previous football season. The survey includes 1079 persons (males and females) categorized under three age groups: less than 24 years, 24-35, and 35+. The survey tackles seven major themes related to the potential reasons behind the audience reluctance to attend football matches. A number of sub-causes falls under the category of each core theme. The seven major themes are as follows: (personal – organizational – technical – service – climatic – audience - TV broadcast). 

The outcomes indicate that 65% of Qataris who participated in the survey did not attend any match at stadiums during the previous football season. The main reasons behind the audience reluctance to attend football matches.

The first theme: personal reasons 

This theme includes a number of possible personal reasons for reluctance such as lack of desire, time shortage and family objection. For females, culture related issues are raised such as traditions and customs that prevent them from showing themselves at stadiums, in addition to the non-adaptation of the stadiums terraces for females. According to the survey, 67% of respondents think that time shortage is the main reason hindering their attendance, followed by lack of desire (51%). 45% of females mention that the stadiums are not well adapted for them. 55% and 61% respectively of respondents point out that the family objection, traditions and customs are not important reasons for them to turn away from attending matches at stadiums. No big differences between the three age groups’ opinions on the importance of personal causes as being factors contributing to their reluctance to attend matches at stadiums. 

The second theme: organizational causes 

It includes potential causes related to the organization of football matches such as the schedule of matches, distant stadiums, ticket price, improper and annoying behavior of some audience and traffic congestion during matches. Around 60% of respondents point out that the matches schedule during the week days represent a significant obstacle, followed by the organization of matches at distant stadiums (55%). In addition, 50% indicate that the audience annoying behaviors represent an obstacle to the audience trying to attend matches at stadiums. Besides, 69% of respondents agree that traffic congestion is a major reason for audience to turn away from stadiums. 

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Third theme: technical causes

It contains several potential sub-causes preventing the audience attendance at stadiums. 60% of respondents indicate that the absence of local football stars reduce their enthusiasm to go to stadiums, whereas 50% reveal that the low technical level of clubs is one of the reasons for them to turn away from stadiums. 

Fourth heading: service causes

65% of respondents indicate the importance of facilities (mosques, restaurants, parking), and 65% point out that the security measures do not constitute an obstacle in their way to attend matches at stadiums. All the age groups’ opinions on these factors show slight difference regarding the level of importance of each one. 

Fifth theme: climatic causes 

This theme includes one major cause which is the capricious weather (hot, humid and windy, dusty). 72.8% indicate that it plays a real part in audience non-attendance at stadiums, whereas 10.6% state that the weather capriciousness is not an obstacle to them to attend matches. There are no clear differences between the opinions of the three age groups regarding the impact of this cause on their attendance at stadiums. 

Sixth theme: audience related causes

It contains two potential reasons which are the spread of paid fans. 69% of respondents state that the spread of paid fans phenomenon is a significant reason for audience to turn away from stadiums. 77% of youths in the age group (less than 24) reveal the weak ties linking the sports clubs supporters. 

Seventh theme: reasons related to TV broadcast

65% of respondents confirm that the satellite sports channels heavily contribute to  audience reluctance to go to stadiums, whereas 17% state they are not a crucial cause. 71% of the young age group (less than 24) indicate that the sports channels are a crucial reason behind their reluctance to attend matches at stadiums. 

At last, the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics stated that this survey’s detailed results would be discussed by the Technical Committee of Sports Statistics, which include all the bodies concerned with the study of the results, to identify whether there is a need or not for conducting further surveys and questionnaires.

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