Newcastle United to release new season-tickets amid 'unprecedented' post-takeover demand for seats
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The club will release 1,000 new season-tickets ahead for online sale at 10am tomorrow ahead of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. They will be gone in minutes.
Demand for season-ticket renewals, according to the club, was “unprecedented”, and the demand for these tickets will far outstrip the limited supply.
The background to the move
United once gave away 10,000 season-tickets as fans protested against Mike Ashley’s ownership.
The move in late 2019, which was a response to falling attendances, came following a backlash against the departure of manager Rafa Benitez – and the controversial appointment of Steve Bruce.
Newcastle lost thousands of season-ticket holders during Ashley’s time as owner, the latter years of which were punctuated by protests and boycotts.
Now, many of those fans – and many, many more – want to get back into St James’s Park following a takeover late last year.
And a promised general release of new season-tickets this summer had been eagerly awaited by fans keen to secure seats for the 2022/23 season.
The club's release of new season-tickets
The club last week revealed that a “limited number” of season-tickets will go on sale to fans with a “previous purchase history”.
A statement read: “Following an unprecedented level of renewals, the club has put additional seats on sale to fans who have bought a season ticket, single match ticket or membership at any point since 1st July 2019.
“Supporters can check if they are eligible by logging on to their account at book.nufc.co.uk. Season tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Only one season ticket per supporter number.”
The club is working with its ticket website provider to ensure that the site is robust enough to deal with the expected demand.
Why are only 1,000 new season-tickets being issued?
The number of season-tickets holders has not been revealed by the club, though the Newcastle United Supporters Trust was told a couple of years ago that the figure stood at 30,000.
Even taking into account the need to keep at least 5% of tickets for non-season-ticket holders, corporate tickets and 3,000 away fans, there’s clearly scope to issue more new season-tickets.
So why has the number been capped? The club’s caution amid this demand is seemingly for a number of reasons.
Firstly, there is a lot of price disparity with season-ticket holders on different long-term deals. Going forward, the club intends to look at a more harmonised pricing structure as supporters gradually come off these deals.
United plan to examine the possibility of installing safe standing. The club’s new owners also want to see if the family areas are big enough.
With decisions yet to be made on these issues, some of which could see a number of supporters relocated, the club didn’t feel that it was the right time to “max out” on season-tickets.
Will there be more season-tickets sold in the future?
The club intends to make more season-tickets available in the future.
Newcastle’s owners are also looking at the possibility of expanding St James’s Park, though this will be difficult and expensive.
In the meantime, the decision to cap the number of new season-tickets will, at least, ensure that there are many thousands of tickets on sale for every home game.