More popular than Barcelona and Real Madrid – Portsmouth set for new attendance records when they take on Sunderland in Checkatrade Trophy final

Pompey will claim another two attendance records when they meet Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy final later this month.

Pompey fans at the 2008 FA Cup final at Wembley. Picture: Allan Hutchings (082211-098)
Pompey fans at the 2008 FA Cup final at Wembley. Picture: Allan Hutchings (082211-098)

The Blues’ match-up with the Black Cats on March 31 will attract the biggest EFL Trophy final crowd at the new Wembley.

And the game is also set to surpass the competition’s biggest-ever crowd since its formation back in 1983.

Pompey fans at the 2008 FA Cup final at Wembley. Picture: Allan Hutchings (082211-098)

Sunderland’s entire allocation of  39,569 has also been snapped up.

That means the League One rivals will eclipse the previous attendance record for a Checkatrade Trophy final fixture when they meet under the arch, with corporate ticketing and hospitality also taken into account.

A crowd of 80,841 watched on as Wolves beat Brentford in the 1988 final.

Meanwhile, this month’s expected attendance will also shatter the previous Checkatrade Trophy final support at the new Wembley stadium, with 74,434 fans witnessing Coventry’s victory over Oxford in 2017.

Pompey and Cardiif fans, of course, already boast being part of the national stadium’s biggest ever crowd.

The attendance of 89,874 for the Blues’ 2008 FA Cup triumph over the Welsh side remains the highest for a competitive game since the stadium was reopened in 2007.

In comparison with other Checkatrade Trophy finals in recent years, only five matches have attracted crowds in excess of 70,000 since 1995.

Three of the past four finals have registered attendances over 50,000.

Meanwhile, the Pompey v Sunderland clash will rank among the biggest spectator events in Europe on March 31.

Barcelona’s last home match in La Liga, against Real Vallecano on March 9, attracted 72,689 spectators, while Real Madrid’s 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo on March 16 had 65,054 fans inside the Bernabeu.

The last El Clasico match between the Spanish giants on February 27 – the Copa del Rey final – was watched on by 80,472 fans inside Madrid’s home ground.

Meanwhile, 68,145 fans witnessed Liverpool knock Bayern Munich out of the Champions League last week at the Allianz Arena.

Pompey v Sunderland is set to surpass those totals with ease.