So far at Newcastle United, a total of 1,072,996 Newcastle fans (and visitors) have attended the first 21 Championship games at St James Park at an average of 51,095, with two games left.

The weekend’s results have meant that Rafa Benitez can clinch promotion with two games to spare with a win over Preston.

The only confusing thing for me now though is, why is tonight’s match not sold out?

Yes I know it is midweek match and also a school day tomorrow BUT we could be promoted tonight!

Surely you want your kids to say ‘I was there’ when Rafa completed stage one of the Rafalution?

It is easy to take our crowds for granted but surely if we can pull in over forty nine thousand for some meaningless League Cup match against Preston, we can pull in fifty two thousand for a (potential) promotion winning match against..Preston!

I work in town and my mate rang and asked me if I could get him some tickets, popped up to St James Park on my lunch break and couldn’t believe how easy it was to get tickets.

It isn’t like there were thousands left but I got a few tickets together and got the impression that there were at least a canny few hundred still unclaimed.

So get yourself on the phone, online, or on foot up to the ticket office – yes the kids might fall asleep during double history tomorrow but they should (hopefully) be having sweet dreams.

(***Obviously the above is to be read within the overall context that Newcastle’s crowds this season are absolutely mental.

Selling more season tickets last summer than the club did the previous season in the Premier League was a great start.

The faith in Rafa Benitez was something everybody to rally behind and ensure we will have this made 50,000+ average at the end of the season.

Last time in the Championship we didn’t have a Rafa, we had a Chris Hughton who we didn’t know just how brilliant he was in summer 2009 – but we did have a Mike Ashley who was seriously hated by most of the fanbase and who had sold off every player he had an offer for, whilst at the same time not giving Chris Hughton a penny to spend.

Little wonder we kicked off the home campaign with only 36,944 at St James Park to see a Shola Ameobi hat-trick beat Reading 3-1.

However, there was 43,823 there only four days later as another Shola goal defeated Sheffield Wednesday 1-0. Crowds became consistently brilliant despite far lower season ticket sales than this current season, as Newcastle fans recognised we had both a manager and players who cared, despite the deep loathing of Mike Ashley remaining.

That season saw an excellent average home attendance of 43,388 but it was only the final home match when the fifty thousand barrier was breached, with 52,181 filling St James Park to watch a 2-2 draw with Ipswich, with promotion and the title already in the bag.

Let’s make tonight against Preston a special occasion and fill the ground.)

Championship matches at St James Park 2016/17 so far:

52,079 Newcastle v Huddersfield

48,209 Newcastle v Reading

49,196 Newcastle v Brighton

52,117 Newcastle v Wolves

48,236 Newcastle v Norwich

51,885 Newcastle v Brentford

51,963 Newcastle v Ipswich

51,257 Newcastle v Cardiff

52,092 Newcastle v Blackburn

52,145 Newcastle v Birmingham

52,179 Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday

52,228 Newcastle v Nottingham Forest

52,208 Newcastle v Rotherham

47,909 Newcastle v QPR

52,271 Newcastle v Derby

50,024 Newcastle v Aston Villa

52,131 Newcastle v Bristol City

51,903 Newcastle v Fulham

51,849 Newcastle v Wigan

48,814 Newcastle v Burton

52,301 Newcastle v Leeds

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Newcastle are Newcastle & it could turn into a horror show like Ipswich,
    not for the bairns this one !
    let them hide behind a sofa watching it on Sky
    leading 2-1 and 2mins of injury time, their centre forward bangs one in as Lascelles is left Moondancing

    Just Joking Lads !

  • VeryOldGeordie

    Not sold out because ticket web site is not working. Tried all day to get a ticket without success.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      phone them

      • VeryOldGeordie

        Think I’ll take your advice and watch from behind the sofa. Still think we’ll slaughter them though.

  • Albert Stubbins

    wor youngun cant go- did his acl in a week last sunday- I bubbled and he took it pragmatically like a young Rafa!! gutted for him. We’ve been though many a high and mainly low at the cathedral on the hill together but its too much for him this evening on the crutches. His sister is going in his place school or nee school!!

    • Whickhamrobbie

      Sorry Albert ,My young un dislocated his knee before xmas and i was the same took it harder than him he missed one game and went on his crutches for the next few its not so bad if ya carefull .Tell sis to scream her head off .

  • MidlandsMag

    I never comment on these but felt compelled too. My daughter and I are season ticket holders from the Midlands, I’ve had one for 12 years and her 2 and we rarely miss a game. I can’t explain how frustrated I am that Sky have robbed her the chance to be there tonight (and me for that fact). If I could bring her I would but being a school night there’s no way I can travel there and back from the midlands!!! She’ll get to watch on TV but not what she deserves!!

    • Albert Stubbins

      sorry to hear that mate- hope we get a win for you both!!

  • GToon

    I’m sure the day of the game has taken its toll on ticket sales but I can’t help feeling that the owner of the club has an effect too. Like the comment below I too live in the midlands but I could have got there and back albeit arriving home around 2 or so but this time there’s a difference for me anyway. I can’t get excited at the prospect of the new season when the club release a statement like they did about how generous “Mike” has been. Unlike other clubs if they were in our position the club talk about how careful we have to be and how the club have taken a gamble in the past etc etc. Other clubs would have talked up their ambitions and hopes for the future. We all know that if somebody offered Ashley a guaranteed 17th place finish for the next ten seasons he’d snap their hand off. Having said all that I’ll be cheering the lads on from my sofa and maybe when “Mike” goes the extra mile then I will.