Portsmouth ticket disappointment as allocation for Boxing Day trip to Bristol Rovers is confirmed

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Anticipated Boxing Day disappointment becomes a reality as Pompey are allocated just 750 tickets for Bristol Rovers away.

A major date in the footballing calendar, Boxing Day is a traditional day out for many – whether Pompey are at home or away. But this year’s festive fixture will see a huge number of the Fratton faithful forced to remain at home.

The Blues’ hosts that day - Bristol Rovers - are currently working on a new south stand at the Memorial Stadium, which houses away supporters. The project, which was only granted planning permission last month despite construction work beginning in July, will facilitate 3,414 spectators and boast new and improved toilets, concession stalls and access for disabled fans.

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But until it’s complete, the number of away fans granted access to the ground has been significantly reduced - meaning Pompey have been allocated just 750 tickets for the December 26 match.

For last season’s 2-0 away win at Rovers in March, John Mousinho’s side were accompanied by 1,275 away supporters. This term, there’ll be a 42-per-cent reduction in the number of Blues fans present.

Pompey director of sales Mark Judges warned about this prospect back in October. Speaking at the Tony Goodall Fans’ Conference, he said: ‘We have to be honest – there will be disappointed fans this season, with demand so high (for away games). Bristol Rovers is likely to be the most challenging game of the year for us from a ticketing point of view.’

Tickets go on sale from Monday, with fans with 70-plus loyalty points given a place at the head of the anticipated queue. Their window opens at 10am. From 3pm on Monday, supporters with 50-plus loyalty points can then buy a seat. Tuesday 10am (41-plus loyalty points), Tuesday 1pm (30-plus loyalty points) and Tuesday 4pm (general sale) are the next purchasing windows, subject to availability.

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Believe it or not, the Blues’ last Boxing Day fixture away from home was during the 2018-19 season, when they had to travel to Gillingham. A total of 1,637 Pompey fans made the trip to Priestfield.

The Blues have been accompanied by 1,667 members of the Fratton faithful on the road this term.

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