Ticketing for this match and the away leg at the City Ground has been a bone of contention since United’s place in the play-offs was confirmed on Saturday.
Anger from Season Ticket holders
The decision to house away fans in that area of the stadium meant that Sheffield United took the call to deny season ticket holders the opportunity to purchase tickets to sit in their usual seats.
Part of the ticket details announcement on the club website on Saturday read: “As we are unable to offer the Bramall Lane Corner to home supporters, season ticket holder seats are not reserved.”
This was met with uproar among many Blades supporters on fans’ forums and on social media, some pointing out to The Star that they or family members had been sat at the same seat for decades and criticised the club for the the lack of loyalty shown.
It is understood, the reasoning behind hosting away fans in that particular section of the stadium was over fears that Forest fans would encroach onto the pitch, as has been the case in the past, with the authorities backing up this decision from a security perspective.
In terms of the numbers it was felt that there was little point in ‘cutting their nose off to spite their face’ by leaving so many empty seats unused, with 2,000 the minimum requirement. That would have meant 1,188 spare seats in the stand. Enforced segregation would have meant that those tickets could not have been offered to home fans.
While there is no suggestion whatsoever that finances dictated that decision, it would still result in missing out on around £20,000, if that number of seats were left unsold.
With the two stadiums being of similar size, the expectation was that Forest would also offer Sheffield United the same allocation but this has not been forthcoming.
The Star understands that United pushed for further tickets but have been unsuccessful on that front and there was little to no confidence that there would be an increase.
Away ticket cost
Supporters had also been perplexed by the difference in cost, with United having capped their top ticket for adults at £20, while Forest are charging £29 for adults.
Huddersfield Town also charged £20 for their top tickets but Luton Town, the Terriers’ play-off opponents, are charging £32.
Under league rules, all ticket money from the play-offs is put into a pot and, after the EFL have taken their cut, is distributed between the four competing teams in each division.
Are there any home tickets remaining?
As of Wednesday morning there were 3,000 home tickets remaining for the match at Bramall Lane. It is likely they will eventually sell-out but many supporters have been reporting on social media the problems they have been having in attempting to buy tickets online, with long queues and ‘error messages’ widely pointed out. Queues outside Bramall Lane for those wanting to buy through the ticket office were also long earlier in the week though as the match draws closer, the waiting time is much les than it was previously.