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Opinion

Why are there 445 tickets left for Newcastle v Manchester City?

4 weeks ago
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The Newcastle v Manchester City match is just over four weeks away, United playing the champions on Sunday 21 August.

A match chosen by Sky Sports, moved to 4.30pm on the Sunday.

The match by match tickets went on sale to Newcastle fans on Thursday at 10am, sales only online to members (which includes all season ticket holders who are also classed as members), each member able to buy one ticket each.

Now 47 hours later, at 9am on Saturday 23 July, the big question is: ‘Why are there 445 tickets left for Newcastle v Manchester City?’

A good question…but there is an answer.

Some Newcastle United fans, bizarrely in my opinion, then are desperate to use this as stick to batter anybody who thinks the current 52,000 capacity isn’t big enough. If you remember, a 52,000 capacity that was filled week in week out, across 23 home matches, in 2016/17, in the Championship! This despite the hated Mike Ashley in charge and after he had just achieved his second relegation in his first eight seasons of ownership. Quite amazingly, simply the fact that Rafa Benitez was willing to stay on despite the second tier challenge, convincing NUFC fans to fill St James’ Park because he gave a little hope.

So a little hope given to a fanbase who found their club in the second tier, yet they fill the 52,000 capacity St James’ Park every week.

Now the Newcastle United fanbase have a LOT of hope in the Premier League, yet we are supposed to believe that a capacity bigger than 52,000 isn’t a priority…

Anyway, these people who are keen to tell us all that the Newcastle United fanbase isn’t all that, here are a few comments along these lines that I have read online this Saturday morning…

‘Why are there still Man City tickets on sale? What has happened to the so called thousands who were desperate to go to games and wanted a bigger stadium built?’

‘Exactly my thoughts. Too many fans think we are a big club with 100000 fans plus.’

‘The latest ticket sale was for season ticket holders, maybe there’s not that many season ticket holders wanting additional ticket. The next phase is members – probably see it sell out then.’

I know that social media isn’t exactly the ideal place to go looking for the truth or great knowledge but I do see others saying similar things to these comments above, so it is a vocal minority who want to put this kind of thing out, without bothering to really look at what the reality is and the reasons why there are still 445 tickets available for the Newcastle v Manchester City game, some 47 hours after they went on sale.

Firstly, regarding the comments above, as I already explained, it wasn’t just season ticket holders who could buy tickets on Thursday, it was all members as well.

The thing is as well, what some people conveniently choose to ignore, not mention, is that of these 445 tickets that are currently unsold (at 9am on Saturday morning) for Newcastle v Manchester City, all of them (the unsold tickets) are in the family enclosure.

Yesterday, I had an article published on The Mag entitled ‘Time to scrap the Newcastle United family enclosure’, you can read that HERE.

I won’t go into all the reasons I put forward in that article BUT one of them is the situation that has developed here with Newcastle v Manchester City tickets. The tickets for this match very quickly sold out, apart from in the family enclosure.

There were actually thousands of tickets still left unsold in the family enclosure when pretty much every other single ticket in ‘normal’ areas had long ago been sold.

The family enclosure is simply far too big, Mike Ashley turned over Level 7 at the top of the Milburn stand so he could try and ensure 8,000 of the least attractive seats would be filled next to his SD adverts, by offering season tickets at very cheap prices, for kids especially.

Thing to remember is that there are loads of kids in the rest of St James’ Park as well, sitting with family etc. So it isn’t like all kids are up in the family enclosure.

Bottom line is that we wouldn’t be having this conversation about Newcastle v Manchester City tickets if it wasn’t for the existence of the family enclosure, as these 445 tickets would have been sold long ago.

As to the problems now of selling these hundreds of unsold tickets, there are problems.

Say for example, you are discovering this for the first time, that there are still tickets left for the Man City match and you don’t have memberships, to get two tickets for this match for an adult and child, you would have to spend over £100. More than £60 for an adult membership and a junior one (you can only get one ticket per membership) and then over £40 for the two tickets. There is an even bigger problem though, if you haven’t got a membership already, the club have ended sales of adult memberships. Having sold tens of thousands of them when they went on sale, the club last week capped membership sales ahead of these Man City tickets going on sale. With so many memberships already sold, the club seemingly taking the view that it is unfair on those who have spent over £37 (including added costs on top of the £35 membership price) on a membership, if they kept selling them and further reduced the chances of getting a ticket.

However, because tickets in the family enclosure are taking longer to sell (I presume that is the reason), the club are still selling junior memberships, although they have them marked as only up to the age of 13. So I have no idea if you bought one for say a 14 year old, whether they could use that membership to buy a ticket…?

This is just one of many anomalies / glitches in the club’s selling tickets plan. So you can still buy a junior membership which would allow you to buy one of these unsold Newcastle v Manchester City tickets BUT you can’t buy an adult membership to buy an adult ticket to go with your child.

Plus, you can’t just buy a child’s ticket in the family enclosure, you have to buy an adult one as well at the same time. Similarly you can’t just buy an adult ticket on its own up in the family enclosure. Amongst those that are unsold currently for Man City, are a number of single tickets in the family enclosure. As it is impossible for a child or adult to but a single ticket in the family enclosure, then I don’t see how these tickets can ever be sold! A crazy situation when you have so many people who want to go to games.

Likewise, if you see a group of three tickets together and separate from any others, you can’t buy two of those, as it would then leave a single ticket that couldn’t be bought / sold…

In conclusion…

Newcastle United need to do something with the family enclosure. Preferably get rid of it, or at least significantly reduce the size of it. Also, in the short-term the club need to come up with a solution to selling these harder to sell tickets in the family enclosure…although thinking on, they will be sold regardless when these new (introduced for this season) online general sales happen, a small number of tickets that will go on sale each match to people who aren’t season ticket holders or members (Premier League rules seemingly dictating this has to happen). The first of these online general sales is on Tuesday (26 July) at 10am for the Forest match, for Man City the general sale is 10am on Thursday 4 August. Remember, you still have to register (for free) with the club, if you do want to try and get a ticket when this general sale happens.

As for demand for tickets. Well tens of thousands were queuing online when the club put only 1,000 season tickets on sale.

Match to match tickets when going on sale, I understand the figure is somewhere around the 15,000 mark, instantly thousands queuing on line and the tickets sold (apart from some in the family enclosure that take a little longer…).

Tens of thousands of memberships sold and the club having to stop sales because so many had been sold.

The question isn’t whether Newcastle United need a bigger capacity, instead it is just how much bigger that capacity needs to be?

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