From the days of terracing when we averaged 20k-25k in a good year? Wouldn't bring back those who dislike the lack of atmopshere or no terracing. The cheap seats will be stuck at the back of the top tier in a corner aswell.
Very good points. There are many that are either too young, or do not remember when Football almost imploded. I remember our best ever season, (when we was 3rd). The opening home game saw an attendance of 13,000 against Luton. Attendances did improve slightly, but we only had one attendance over 30,000 and that was the last game of the season, (in a stadium that held 33,500). The main cause of this "implosion" was mainly due to a reaction to hooliganism.
Attendances did recover until the Bond Scheme. The following year, we were allocating the whole of the South Bank to visiting teams as attendances went as low as 10,000.
What could cause the next implosion? I personally think the biggest threat is online streaming. At the moment sites like Sopcast and Veetle are either a bit of a "nudge, nudge wink wink" with people discovering them by word of mouth, or known to internet geeks. With HD technology, and widespread knowledge, people will be able to plug their computers straight into their HD plasma screens to watch the game free. This will have many effects not least making in harder to attract new supporters to a ground, especially if the cheapest seats are miles from the pitch. Remember, these "lost" fans in places like Southend and Basildon still have to pay for train tickets, (the club tried free coaches in the past with little success). The other threat posed by widespread internent streaming could be that Sky will be reluctant to pay a premium rate to the Premier League if games can be accessed for free. Saturation TV has killed attendances in Italy, and to a lesser extent Spain.
So what happens if we move to Stratford, after selling our ground, and football implodes? We would have lost our biggest asset, and no way to downsize.
Perhaps I am being negative, but are people really willing to take the risk that football will always stay as it is?