NEARLY 15,000 tickets for Coventry City’s Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley – from an initial allocation of nearly 40,000 – have already been sold, within hours of going on sale.
The better-than-expected earlier sales figures of 11,000, as of around 2pm today (Monday), was revealed to the Coventry Observer by technical director Mark Venus.
The club says the figure is now 15,000, as of 4.30pm. The ticket office at the Butts Park Arena was due to open at 10.30am but hundreds of fans were queuing for hours before then.
Tickets were also being sold via the phone and internet by national agent Ticketmaster.
The final on April 2 versus Luton Town or Oxford United sees the Sky Blues return to Wembley for the first time since 1987, and for the first time since the new national stadium opened.
Tickets have been made available to season ticket holders today who will take priority for the next two weeks, before any remaining tickets are made available to other categories of fans – including those who have ticket stubs from home matches this season.
Qualifying stubs include tickets from this coming Saturday’s crucial relegation battle against Swindon Town. Fans are being urged to turn up and support Russell Slade’s team in the battle for survival, following last weekend’s nail-biting 2-1 victory over Gillingham.
Season ticket holders can buy up to six Wembley tickets as a reward their loyalty, prompting fears there may not be many left for general sale.
Several season ticket holders told us they had been inundated with requests from fellow fans to purchase tickets for them – including for family members young and old of fans who attend less regularly or not at all.
Some rumours circulated the internet and social media this morning that touting was already under way at inflated prices – well about the face-value ticket prices of between £20 and £60.
Some fans were extremely frustrated and angry outside the Butts Park Arena this morning.
Some told us that even people towards the front of the queue had not been brought into the ticket office by early afternoon.
Another reported that disabled fans had been given no other option but to queue up, and were left with long waits and no suitable facilities.
The club confirmed only two members of staff were working at the ticket office this morning.
They said by early afternoon a third kiosk was opened and manned, with priority for disabled people.
Coventry City used its social media this morning to urge people to book their tickets online if at all possible.
The club believes some more cup final tickets – on top of the 39,000 or so already allocated by the 90,000 capacity Wembley stadium – could come to the club if demand continues to be extremely high – partly depending on how many are sold by the opposition club.
UPDATE: 5pm. Over 90% of sales were online, the club says.
It has issued the following statement on its website, where full details of how to get tickets are available: “Coventry City FC would like to thank all fans who have already booked their seat for the Checkatrade Trophy final, after a staggering 14,975 tickets were purchased on day one of sales – with that figure set to rise over night.
“The club would also like to urge fans to continue to purchase online (eticketing.co.uk/CCFC), or over the phone (0844 453 9134), to avoid the delays experienced when buying in person at the Butts Park Arena.
“After lengthy queues at the BPA ticket office today, we would recommend that only fans who require wheelchair or ambulant disabled tickets purchase from this location (as this service is unavailable online).
“Thank you, once again, for your understanding and patience in advance. The club greatly values the support of all our Sky Blue supporters!”