Newcastle United fans have faced many challenges during Mike Ashley’s 14+ year reign.
Despite so many positives over the past five months, there is a big challenge that exists now… and one that will only get harder and harder, it seems.
Namely, supply and demand, the number of Newcastle United fans who want to pay and watch their team, versus the number of tickets/seats available.
On Wednesday night, NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) revealed that they had met with the club to discuss ticketing issues, among other concerns/problems.
With away tickets, the usual allocation of 3,000 away tickets usually sells out quickly. Older traveling fans will remember the days of the terraces and paying at the gate for almost every away game, some brilliant days when your only concern was how you were going to get to the game and it’s not not uncommon for large numbers of people to travel, ten thousand or more on many occasions.
Very different these days and loyalty points dictate where you are in the pecking order when applying for tickets outside.
With the club confirming to NUST that for away matches, a “10% allowance is made available to staff, players and corporate ticket holders”.
That therefore leaves around 2,700 tickets away for most Premier League travel, with the club confirming that this is the approximate number for those with 30 or more loyalty points…
2000 – 100+ points
3000 – 50-99 points
8000 – 30+ points
Many matches recently have seen away tickets available first for those with 100 points or more, with requirements then gradually decreasing, with generally very few, if any, tickets available for those who already have few or no loyalty points.
With away tickets it’s a problem with no obvious solution, unless of course you go back to the good old days of the 10,000 or so fans away allowed…
Regarding tickets/passes to St James Park, NUST said: “There was a discussion of ticketing issues, including long-term deals and how to prioritize new season tickets given of the increase in demand. The Club is aware of the issues and is currently planning future subscription renewals and sales, with more to follow shortly.
Once again, demand massively outstrips supply for almost every home game now. Something that will only get worse if/when Newcastle United just get a bit competitive and look up not down. If anyone is in serious doubt about ticket demand, just remember that even under Mike Ashley, the 2016/17 season saw Newcastle United fans pack St James Park every week in the CHAMPIONSHIP! An average of 51,106 over 23 second-tier games this season.
Again, increasing the supply is the only obvious thing that would help. I’m sure those running the club are now looking at all options as to how St James Park can increase capacity and you’re just hoping against hope that the club ground sold by Mike Ashley opposite the Gallowgate end can be bought back by the new ownership, allowing this end of the stadium to be significantly enlarged. The original plans that Sir John Hall had drawn up when purchasing the land suggested that the development of Gallowgate could reach a capacity of at least 60,000 people.
Hopefully any redevelopment will see that 60,000 figure as an absolute minimum for the end of any expansion of St James Park, as we want to see as many Newcastle United fans as possible able to watch their team, especially children entering NUFC now and in the years to come.
NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) Member Update – March 9, 2022:
“The Trust has had recent discussions with Newcastle United and provides an update below on the recent engagement.
The Club reiterated its commitment to working with the Trust and the value it sees in a strong Trust.
There was a discussion of ticketing issues, including long-term deals and how to prioritize new subscriptions given the increase in demand. The Club is aware of the issues and is currently planning future subscription renewals and sales, with more to follow shortly.
The Trust has recently increased ticket allocations externally, especially now that demand is significantly higher. The Club has confirmed that there have been no changes to the 10% allowance made available to staff, players and corporate ticket holders. It was explained that the approximate number of people in each loyalty point band is:
2000 – 100+ points
3000 – 50-99 points
8000 – 30+ points
We will be engaging further with members regarding ticketing views and will provide more details on this shortly.
The distribution of game shows was discussed and the effect this has on Newcastle’s traveling fans. The Trust has raised concerns that the Premier League does not consistently follow its own published details for releasing TV dates. The club have indicated they are aware of and understand these issues.
The Club reiterated that it is still awaiting the outcome of the safety trials and any future regulatory or legislative changes. The Cub explained that they were largely in favor of introducing a safe standing position, but this needs to be considered carefully given the likely costs and disruption for many fans who have to vacate long-time seats. The club have acknowledged that they are aware of the popularity of safety among fans.
The club said it was examining options for a second large screen, as well as other measures to improve St. James’s Park, but that work was at an early stage and no decision had yet been made.
(To join thousands of other fans as members of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust, go HERE)