Town Hoping to Hold Test Event as Fans Return
Thursday, 3rd Sep 2020 15:16
Town are hoping to hold a test event at Portman Road in late September or early October with the phased return of supporters to football gets under way.
In July, the Government announced that they were hoping to have a limited number of fans back in stadia in October with test events having taken place in various sports over the last couple of months.
Brighton’s friendly with Chelsea on Saturday was senior football’s first with 2,500 fans in the 30,000-capacity Amex Stadium.
Town are looking to hold a test event at either the League One match against Rochdale on Saturday 26th September or the EFL Trophy game against Gillingham on Tuesday 6th October.
Following that, the aim is for grounds to be at 25 to 30 per cent of their capacity in the early stages of the return, probably somewhere between 6,000 and 9,000 at Portman Road, which currently has a capacity just under 30,000. However, it’s anticipated that the crowd at the proposed test event will be significantly lower than that.
The EFL have confirmed two test events at Cambridge United’s 8,127-capacity Abbey Stadium, the EFL Trophy fixture against Fulham U21s on Tuesday 8th September where the 1,000 fans will be present, and the Sky Bet League Two game against Carlisle United on Saturday 12th September where 2,500 fans will be admitted.
Town have just under 9,000 season ticket holders and it’s unlikely that all of them will be able to attend in the early stages after the return.
The club, in conjunction with new ticketing partner SeatGeek, are aiming to ensure season ticket holders who miss out on one game are more likely to be able to attend the next via procedures currently under discussion.
The Blues are working with a company who are experts in stadium layouts in order to maximise the number of available seats with complications including factors such as those at the end of rows next to stairwells not being usable for social distancing reasons.
Town sent out a survey to season ticket holders last month asking questions on issues such as household bubbles which will help to facilitate more supporters attending games and they will continue this dialogue in the weeks to come with further information close to being announced.
As previously reported, it’s expected that fans will be given staggered entry times, while a number of other measures are also set to be put in place.
Elsewhere, the MK Dons have said they are hoping to host 7,000 fans for their game against the Blues on Saturday 3rd October.
Photo: Action Images
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