Football fans are renowned for their unwavering dedication and fierce loyalty to their beloved teams. But just how far are they willing to go to witness a crucial match?
SeatPick has surveyed 3,500 people to reveal the true extent of football fandom commitment. From refused dates to even missing the birth of their child, we’ve uncovered the sacrifices the most loyal football fans are willing to make to reveal the depth of their devotion to the beautiful game.
How Being a Football Fan Can Affect Dating?
Dating a loyal football fan can be an exhilarating adventure, filled with passionate matchday rituals, heated discussions about tactics, and the electric atmosphere of stadiums. However, when will their devotion come in the way of your relationship?
The survey data revealed that 32.10% of football fans have ghosted someone because they didn’t like the sport, with 17.52% of female respondents, 18.08% of males, and 18.87% of people who identify outside of these genders doing so. Not just that, but 20.50% of all people surveyed have even cancelled a date to watch a match.
It seems that it’s good news for football enthusiasts though, as 49.70% of respondents answered that being a fan of the game is a turn-on for them, while only 27.6% indicated they’d be turned off.
56.40% of Football Fans Refuse to Date Someone Who Supports a Rival Team
Loyalty runs deep for football fans, with almost three in five respondents saying they wouldn’t be able to be in a relationship with someone who supported their rivals. Men are most committed to this rule, with 56.56% saying they would refuse to date a person if they were fans of their footballing enemies.
And what’s a surefire way to let any potential partners know who you support? Wearing the kit of course. 45.70% of people have worn a football shirt on a first date. Perhaps surprisingly, more women than men have done this with results showing 45.25% and 46.88% respectively.
Almost One in Six People Would Give Up Sex for a Year If It Meant Their Team Won the Premier League
Following on from how dating for football fans can be tricky, we decided to see just how far they’d go to experience some footballing events by asking, ‘what would you give up a year of sex for?’
14.30% of people would give up sex for a year if it meant they saw their team become Premier League champions, while 13.60% would do the same if it meant they won the Champions League, and 13.50% would be celibate in return for winning the treble.
It’s not all just for trophies though, 13.80% would accept a year without sex just for free season tickets. Players are important too, an impressive 8.90% of those surveyed would give up sex for 365 days if it meant their team signed a Ballon d’Or winner and 8.80% would do so just to MEET their favourite player.
What Would Football Fans Miss For a Football Match?
There’s nothing quite like watching football live, especially when you’re rewarded with a win. But what would people miss to do so?
The Birth of Their Child
10.20% of football fans have missed the birth of their child to attend a match, with 5.60% saying they would miss it if faced with the decision.
Out of these, women are more likely to miss (5.50%), or plan to miss (3.40%), this once-in-a-lifetime event in favour of going to watch their football team play. From the survey results, 4.91% of men and 8.70% of people who identify outside of these genders said they have missed the birth of their child, while 3.24% and 9.43% said they would in the future.
Family Birthday Parties
Over two-fifths of respondents said they have missed a family birthday party to attend a football match instead. And we’re not talking about extended family parties, these are their partner’s and child’s special days.
Over one in six (16.20%) also said they would choose football over the party in the future if made to decide.
Women are the worst culprits for missing their children’s birthday parties, with 21.11% saying they’ve done so in the past.
It’s not just family commitments these football fans have skipped out on for games either. 31.70% have left work to attend a match in the past, while 45.60% would do it in the future if needed. Men are most likely to do this, with 27.71% having no problem either missing work entirely or leaving early to get to the football ground.
Generations Most Committed to Football
From the tech-savvy Gen Z, who dominate social media with their favourite players and clubs, to the passionate Millennials, who live for the on-field action and the electric atmosphere of stadiums. Of course not forgetting Gen X, witnesses of the sport’s modernisation, and the steadfast Boomers who have passed down their love for the game through the ages.
One real question to answer is: which generation is most committed to football?
The Generation Most Likely to Let Football Affect Their Love Life
Gen Z is most likely to cancel a date to attend a match, with 11.50% saying they’ve done so in the past. This is followed by Millenials with 10.70% saying they would have no problem delaying a date to watch football instead.
However, Boomers may not even get to the date stage as they’re the generation with the highest likelihood of ghosting a person if they didn’t like football with 16.77% of respondents saying they’ve already done it.
Gen Z and Gen X are the most attracted to football fans with respective results of 50.68% and 50.24% of those surveyed saying that their date being a fan of the sport is a turn-on.
The Age Most Likely to Miss Events
If you’re looking for a football fan who won’t cancel on you, or miss big events, steer clear of Gen X. This generation is most likely to miss not only their child’s birthday party (with 21.35% saying they’ve done so) but their child’s actual birth (5.27%) too!
Gen Z is the least committed to work with 16.65% saying they’ve either skipped work entirely or left early to attend a football match.
Keep an eye on your Millennial partners if they make an excuse as to why they can’t attend your birthday party, over one in five football fans from this generation said they’ve missed this event in favour of a football game.
Which Teams Have the Most Committed Fans?
Fan loyalty can’t just be measured by how many games you attend, but by how you keep up with your team when you can’t be there in person. SeatPick found out where fans of different football clubs have either streamed a match or checked the score.
Fans of Championship sides seem to be the most likely to watch a match during big events as over 19% of Preston North End followers have streamed a game during a wedding. Going a step further, one in ten Birmingham City fans surveyed have streamed a game during their own wedding and 7.50% have done so during a first date!
15.79% of AFC Wimbledon fans in this survey have even streamed a game during the birth of their child, the highest out of any other team. They’re followed by fans of Southend United (14.29%) and Reading (13%).
Some fans don’t stop at streaming the game at celebratory events either, but at funerals too — 10.20% of Charlton Athletic fans in the survey confessed to doing so in the past.
Although not quite on the same level as watching a match stream, plenty of football fans admitted to checking the score during a few questionable places. The top place where Arsenal fans have cheekily kept up to date with a match is at their anniversary celebration, with 18.23% owning up to it.
If you’re ever on a first date with a Tranmere Rovers (17.39%), Reading (16.25%), or Southend United (16%) fan, and it’s game day, be prepared to catch them taking sneaky looks at their phones.
Whereas fans of multiple Premier League title-holders, Manchester City, will most likely be found checking scores at a birthday party as 16.54% admit to doing so.
What is the Most Football Fans Would Spend on a Match Ticket?
Out of everyone we surveyed, more than a quarter could be persuaded to spend between £251 and £500 on a single match ticket whereas only 8% would be willing to spend up to £1,000. There was even 4.70% of respondents who would fork out over £1,000 on a single game.
Generations Spending the Most Money on Football Tickets
Being a dedicated football fan not only affects your relationships and events, it can have a big impact on your bank account too. But which generation is spending the most on football tickets?
The highest they would pay is the same across all generations, at £251 to £500 on a single game. However, 5.59% of Gen Z respondents said they would pay over £1,000 on a match ticket, whereas Boomers are the least likely at only 3.90%.
Buying football tickets doesn’t have to be this expensive though. SeatPick is the largest ticket search engine and ticket marketplace for live events — whether you’re after English Premier League tickets, or are trying to get your hands on Champions League tickets to watch your team make history, we’ll have them at the best prices.
Seatpick conducted a uStats.org survey which surveyed 3,500 British people between 16th-31st May 2023.