Oxford United’s Carabao Cup Quarter Final tie at home to Manchester City sold out within hours of going on database sale last night and Karl Robinson’s side will have full backing by another huge crowd as they take on the Champions of England in December.
Demand for the game was huge and we caught up with Head of Retail and Ticketing Lee Barton this morning to ask him to talk through some key questions that we have been getting on social media today. The first question was simply to outline how sales were actually structured
“There is a club charter” Lee explained “ and we are blessed with a number of staff who have huge experience in games like this. The last few years have seen big crowds at a number of games and even before the draw was made we had discussed all eventualities in one of our Management meetings that take place before and after every game.
“It seemed straightforward in terms of pricing, with normal league pricing, and then we followed the usual procedure to allow season ticket holders and members the chance to buy their seats first.
“Those sold very quickly and I think the membership scheme has been a big success. Because the team is playing so well we have seen a big surge in memberships, especially after the West Ham and Sunderland games because fans realised that if you have a Season Ticket or Membership then you are guaranteed a place at the big cup games- and priority for any away ones should they happen later in the season.
“Those fans had a week and the vast majority booked their place before they went on open sale last night. Those tickets didn’t last long though and I think it’s worth mentioning that we can see who is buying and where the tickets go: we were monitoring it closely and maybe it’s worth calming people’s fears that touts were buying 20 tickets at a time and other fans were missing out. That didn’t happen, although we do know that, as with any big game at any club, touts may somehow manage to get their hands on tickets and we’d advise fans to avoid buying from unofficial sources; it’s a criminal offence as well as a breach of regulations.
“It’s maybe worth mentioning about merchandising as well. Big games tend to attract unofficial sellers around the edge of the car parks selling unofficial scarves and flags. We will do what we can to stop that happening but we urge fans to buy from the Club Shop, or from the store in the Covered Market in the centre of town, because that will be official merchandise, and the revenue generated will go directly to supporting your club!”
“If fans do see people offering tickets for sale, or selling what’s obviously unofficial merchandise then give them a miss and let us know. We will do all we can to stop it happening.
“I’d also like to thank our fantastic Ticket Office team who have delivered back to back Carabao Cup sell outs!”
“It’s a busy time for us with the festive football calendar round the corner and we are finalising some fantastic promotions, including our Half Season Ticket offering. The team are doing well and we are privileged to be sharing an amazing season with our supporters.”