Page last updated at 06:00 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 07:00 UK

Cup finalists break ticket record

Cardiff City fan Mark Ullah
Fan Mark Ullah hopes his season ticket will get him an FA Cup final seat

Cardiff City look poised to shatter their season ticket sales record after reaching the FA Cup final.

The club told fans they could guarantee themselves an FA Cup final ticket by buying a season ticket for next term.

Since then sales have gone through the roof, with an extra 2,000 fans buying tickets for 2008-09, adding to the 8,000 existing season ticket holders.

A spokesman said the club had probably already gone through the 10,000 barrier of season tickets sold.

The Bluebirds, who in 1927 became the only non-English club to have lifted the cup, hope to return the trophy to Wales when they face Portsmouth at Wembley on 17 May.

More than 33,000 City fans saw the 1-0 semi-final victory over Barnsley, but only 25,000 tickets will be made available to the Bluebirds for the final.

Ninian Park
We've probably gone through an extra 2,000 season ticket sales alone since the semi-final
Cardiff City

That means buying a season ticket will be the easiest way for fans to guarantee themselves a seat at Wembley next month.

The club met Football Association officials on Thursday to decide their allocation.

Cardiff supporters will be housed in the west side of Wembley - the opposite to where they sat for the semi-final - to ease their arrival.

"We've probably gone through an extra 2,000 season ticket sales alone since the semi-final," said the club spokesman on Thursday.

"The previous record was just shy of 10,000 season ticket holders when we got to the play-offs a few years ago."

Since Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale said season ticket holders would "be absolutely certain of getting an FA Cup final ticket" earlier this week fans have been flooding into the club ticket office.

The club's Ninian Park ground has a capacity of 18,000, but under football ticketing regulations can sell a maximum of only 16,200 seats to season ticket holders.

It already has 8,000 existing season ticket holders, who are almost all busy renewing their seats for next season, leaving approximately 8,200 available to other fans.

Prices range from a minimum of 199 for a year on the Popular Bank (Bob Bank) through to 519 for the Grandstand.

Tickets

Using even the most conservative estimates, this means the club has raked in an extra 400,000 in season ticket sales from the 2,000 extra applicants alone.

However, some existing season ticket holders see things differently and were wary of new ticket holders potentially reducing the number of Cup final tickets available to long-time fans.

The club has looked to allay any fears about diehard fans missing out on the trip to Wembley and following the announcement of ticket allocation details will announce full details of its ticketing policy on Monday.




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