As the club admits in official statement, reconstruction of Anoeta into Reale Arena was a fundamental factor, even if not the only one. Now attendance records go together with all-time high in number of socios.
“Sometimes dreams come true. Without running tracks, with 39,000 new seats, 5,000 tons of steel, 27,000 square meters of ETFE... All this has been fundamental. But the really essential thing has been you.” wrote Real Sociedad in a statement to its supporters on Thursday evening.
Today the Txuri Urdin have officially exceeded 35,000 socios for the first time in history – 35,004 as of this evening. This means that up to 92.25% of available stadium seating (away section excluded) has a socio associated to it.
It goes to show how a proper stadium can make the much needed difference. Of course it's not all about the stadium. After all, Real Sociedad is doing very well on the pitch, competing for a place in Europe and already in the semifinals for Copa del Rey.
But the difference in socios between the old Anoeta and new stadium is just massive. In 2017 the club had 22,800 members, which means roughly 50% increase in just three years. Average attendances have risen by a similar margin, from 19,000-21,000 to over 30,000 at present.
Along with greater capacity and overall fanbase growth, the club is seeing new records in attendance – first against Atletico, then against Barcelona and recently against Athletic in the Basque derby. At present the record stands at 36,730 and we may expect it to be beaten again in the near future.