Portsmouth chief toasts season ticket figures as Fratton Park ready to welcome biggest crowd of 2022 for Lincoln visit
Fratton Park will welcome Pompey’s biggest crowd of 2022 for its grand opening.
Lincoln marks the Blues’ first home fixture of their League One campaign – and the full unveiling of the redeveloped North and South Stands.
According to Andy Cullen, around 16,000 tickets have already been sold for Saturday’s fixture.
That includes more than 13,000 season tickets at present – with 2,000 new takers.
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Saturday already represents the Blues’ largest attendance since Sheffield Wednesday’s visit in December 2021.
Putting that into context, Pompey attracted more than 16,000 for a home match on five occasions last term – Sunderland, Ipswich, Bolton, AFC Wimbledon and the Owls.
Indeed, Sunderland far surpassed the rest, with the biggest south-coast crowd of the season at 17,418 in October 2021.
And Cullen is delighted with fans’ reaction to the 2022-23 campaign.
The Blues’ chief executive told The News: ‘The beauty is now we can sell almost every seat in the stadium, which we weren't able to before.
‘The one thing that has struck me since I’ve been here is how passionate, how loyal, Pompey supporters are to their football club through thick and thin.
‘I think that is reflected in the take-up on season tickets during what is a challenging economic environment.
‘We are at the 13,000 mark for the season so far, while more than 2,000 new season-ticket holders have signed up.
‘At the moment we have chosen not to sell new season tickets in the South Stand and North Lower because we want existing holders to be completely happy with their seats after a couple of games.
‘We want them to have the opportunity to take any other available seat, which is recognition that some will have been inconvenienced by a move slightly to the left or the right.
‘We also want to make sure they are not dislocated from friends and family they come to football with.
‘We will certainly want to build on those numbers from last season. We have our own thoughts and targets in mind for the year, although we’ll keep those to ourselves,
‘Hopefully, though, we can build on a good start and get the enthusiasm going.’
However, Saturday represents the first time both will be fully in use as ongoing £11.5m redevelopment work continues at Pompey’s home.
Fratton Park’s capacity is now around 19,400, although this will be impacted when work starts on the Milton End in October.
Once the Milton End renovation has been completed next summer, the Blues’ capacity will be back in excess of 20,000.
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