I’ll be honest I was a little pessimistic about our chances against Liverpool in the FA Cup, considering how we ‘performed’ the week previous, but I, and I’m sure I’m not alone, was pleasantly surprised by how we worked hard to secure our place in the next round.
In fact I know I wasn’t alone, both my kids were delighted with our result and were begging me to get tickets for the quarter final, at home to Everton. Being the amazing Dad I am (go ahead – ask them) I promised to book them as soon as they went on sale – 10am yesterday morning.
Okay, I admit, I let them down a little bit, I was travelling with little or no internet access, but at the first opportunity I logged on to Arsenal.com to book up. I’ll be honest, I got logged on pretty quickly – normally there is that progress bar that crawls along the screen slower than one of Ivan’s transfer dealings, so I was pretty confident. I must add, as Silver members I have never had any problems getting tickets for any game that we’ve wanted to attend, whatever category game it is.
This was different. At 10:20am, it appeared that there was very limited availability in the family enclosure – there was a row of 15 green dots showing available seats, but whenever I clicked on one, it just wouldn’t select it – I tried different seats all with the same result and within three minutes all of the family enclosure was completely sold out.
I put it down to it being a popular fixture – but there was still plenty of availability throughout the rest of the ground, but this forces me to pay full adult prices for my kids, pushing the cost up to north of £130 for tickets, plus travel, food/drinks etc., I’m looking at a £230 day out. I’m not going to start on the ‘The working man is being priced out’ argument, think we’ve banged that drum plenty already, fact is the Champions League game against Bayern had already rinsed me out financially.
I took to Twitter last night and it seems lots of other people had similar experiences, in fact it seems a lot worse than I first thought – some were logged in and looking for tickets in the family enclosure at 10am sharp, only to find it was sold out already!! How can this happen? How can tickets go on sale at 10am and be sold out at 10:01? Something doesn’t sound right to me.
People tweeting me things like;
‘Kids have gone to every home game this season in Family Encl, tickets sold out by 10:02’
‘Logged in at 10:00 and all downstairs FE was sold out from the word go’
‘Something isn’t right…did they just let them tickets go over the phone and not online?’
‘Can’t see how four sections can sell out in 0 minutes’
I later learned that block 117 (Upper Tier) had also been nominated as ‘Family Enclosure’, but again I logged on to find it had also sold out, and quickly. I’m not sure there was any specific messaging from the club or on the website about this being released – seemed to be a ‘back door’ policy on it – why the secrecy?
The Family Enclosure isn’t any smaller than normal, it doesn’t appear to be a hugely popular fixture – the above image was taken at 8:15pm last night, showing plenty of availability, yet all ‘Junior Gunners’ concessional tickets are gone? This is completely the opposite experience to that I have ever had buying tickets in the FE at the bowl.
I logged on again at 8.34, and to my dismay, it seemed more tickets had come on sale…
Further discussion concluded that this was Season Ticket holders who have opted out. This brings up a further question. The opt out date is 3pm Thursday 27th February, after the date tickets went on sale to Silver Members. Surely the club should have put the opt out date deadline before the tickets went on sale? Are the club hoping that all upper tier tickets are sold (at the higher price) before offering the lower tier season tickets to the market?
I’m not one for conspiracies, but there is something amiss here, something we will never learn about, because as sure as eggs are eggs, we will not get a straight answer from the club. In fact, having written to the club before, and having their reply featured in a double page spread in The Sun, I know asking the question would be futile, my time would be much better spent elsewhere.
So, best I leave this to the comments section on Shewore.com – so if you have any idea as to how all these tickets can be sold so quickly, feel free to leave a comment. Would love to hear from anyone who had a similar experience or those that were successful in getting a ticket in blocks 26-29.