Wed 19 Jul 2023, 16:34 · NUFC News

Sela Cup tickets selling slowly so far

Sela Cup tickets selling slowly so far
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We revealed way back on the 28th of June that the Sela Cup would be taking place at St. James' Park across the weekend of Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of August, with Fiorentina, Nice, and Villarreal providing the opposition for Eddie Howe's side.

The club confirmed our rumour on Friday the 7th of July, with Newcastle United Women also being revealed to be involved on the Saturday with a game against West Bromwich Albion Women. Tickets for both days have been on general sale since that announcement was made, but uptake has been very slow to date.

As of today, Wednesday the 19th of July, there are still over 9,000 tickets remaining for Saturday and over 11,000 remaining for Sunday. This is despite the upper Gallowgate and all of Level 7 being "locked" from the sale, along with the renovated Sports Bar in the Leazes End and other premium seats in Milburn Level 4.

While there is still plenty of time left before the action kicks off on the 5th, a little under 17 days to be precise, there's no doubt that traction isn't good as we near the halfway stage of the sales process.

Many supporters have reported technical difficulties when trying to purchase seats, but our overriding feeling is that the tickets are simply too expensive. The announcement of the mini-tournament was also probably made too close to season ticket renewal time and the new cup scheme opt-in.

The club has barely put a foot wrong since the takeover in October 2021, but there's still clearly a lot of work to be done on the ticketing side. Our own anecdotal evidence points to a large number of season ticket holders and away regulars giving the weekend the miss due to the price, which is £30 per day or £55 for the weekend for adults and £15 per day or £25 for the weekend for kids.

A parent and child in the Family Area opting in for the three guaranteed home Champions League matches have just committed at least £779 to the club, while an adult season ticket holder in the Gallowgate has committed at least £857. An extra £45/£80 or £30/55 on top is a hefty chunk, especially at a time when finances are tight for most.

There's pricing for demand and there's taking the mick, and this, along with the live stream costs of our first two friendlies (£9.99 for Gateshead and £7.99 for Rangers), sits firmly in the latter category for us.

Pre-season friendlies at St. James' Park should be used to reward loyal supporters with a cost-effective chance to watch some stress-free football before the real stuff gets underway. They should be used to give those unable to attend many/any competitive games a rare chance to get to SJP. And, perhaps most importantly of all, the friendlies should be used to attract young supporters to the stadium for their first visits.

As it stands, the Sela Cup isn't delivering on any of the above at any sort of meaningful scale, and a half-full St. James isn't going to be a great look for our new front-of-shirt sponsors. With sales as they are, we'll be lucky to bring in 50,000 across the weekend, when we should be aiming to attract nearer 100,000.

UPDATE: As of 5 p.m. on Sunday the 23rd of July, four days after this article was published, a further 2,000 tickets have been sold, leaving 18,300 still available with less than two weeks to go until the games.