St James Park has sold out for the first time this season.
What is more, this is despite some of the worst seats in the house going for £175 see below), rather than the usual £15 charged to those who sit in the family enclosure.
That’s right, after four home matches of the season, this Saturday sees South Africa v Scotland in the rugby world cup at St James Park.
We are used to crazy prices in football but this 2015 rugby world cup has already lifted the title of the most expensive sporting tournament ever, when it comes to ticket prices.
Despite this, nearly every match so far has either sold out or been all but full.
It is ironic that in a region where rugby union is such a minority sport, that St James Park will be full for a rugby game and yet now struggle to be full for football.
Despite visits from Arsenal and Chelsea already this season, the ground has never been close to being full, even though both London clubs brought more than 3,000 fans.
So far the crowds at St James Park read:
49,710 v Southampton (48,460 home fans, 1,250 away supporters)
50,388 v Arsenal (47,188 home fans, 3,200 away supporters)
47,806 v Watford (45,556 home fans, 2,250 away supporters)
48,682 v Chelsea (45,521 home fans, 3,161 away supporters)
For most clubs these kind of attendances would be more than satisfactory but for Newcastle fans, a full St James Park has become a badge of pride, especially when the lack of success on the pitch becomes ever more pronounced.
Unless the players and coaching staff really get it together, it is hard to see when the next full house will be posted at St James Park.
Liverpool in early December is a possibility but after that, Manchester United is a midweek match early in the new year, which makes it harder for distant fans to get to, as well as those ‘neutrals’ who would make a weekend of it in other circumstances.
Which then would leave only Sunderland in March…
I really hate to see a single empty seat, never mind thousands of them. We were spoilt for so many years with game after game, season after season sold out, the Keegan and Sir Bobby years then followed by a number of seasons where blind loyalty followed, with an expectation/hope that things would then be on the up again.
However, the Mike Ashley years have gradually worn a lot of people down and whilst thankfully the damage isn’t too dramatic with three or four thousand empty seats at the minute.
If fans don’t feel the club is moving in the right direction and another three or four thousand call time, that is when St James Park will start to resemble the likes of Sunderland and Aston Villa with big areas of empty seats beamed out worldwide.
Here’s hoping that wins and full houses are heading our way very shortly…
(To feature like Sam, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)