There’s much to talk about today, but I thought I’d bypass the flurry of Arsenal news to talk about something entirely unimportant, trivial in the extreme even: the capacity of our new stadium.
I’ve been wondering for a while – my mind is a fount of creative thought – whether the capacity of Emirates Grove is exactly 60,000, or whether it’s a teeny bit more.
Had I been the architect, I’d have added two or three hundred more places, for the simple reason that you’re then more likely to reach the magical 60,000 mark that way. Let’s be honest: If the capacity is 60k on the nose, we’ll never ever nail it on the head, and that seems a great shame from a psychological point of view.
Highbury’s capacity is supposedly 38,500, but I don’t recall more than about 38,200 ever being there since rebuilding was finished in 1993. There will always be some people who can’t make it, and some tickets that get lost in the void.
I also doubt that every seat in Club Level – of which there are a staggering 7,000 – will be sold at the prices they are being touted at, especially as they will not be sold on a match-by-match basis. At prices ranging from £2,500 to £4,750, nobody could describe them as cheap. Fewer still would argue they are affordable.
This report from the Sunday Times suggests that Arsenal’s attempts to sell them have met with an “indifferent response”, but I guess we’ll never know how many have been sold, short of them announcing that they are sold out.
Then there are away fans. The first few home games this season were noticeable by the absence of a full away end, and that trend has not gone unnoticed elsewhere. Over exposure on TV and high ticket prices are to blame. However, I expect our away end to be full pretty much every game in our first season at Emirates Grove – the novelty of going to the best club ground in England will assure that…