Increasing number of Celtic fans attending games at Paradise – Three solutions

Celtic yesterday confirmed that, as expected, season tickets have now completely sold out for the news season.

Renewal rates are at close to 99% meaning those many thousands of frustrated Celtic supporters on the waiting list have had very little chance of getting their hands on the their own season ticket anytime soon.

Add to that the thousands more who would actually like to join the waiting list but can’t as it’s closed because it is already over subscribed. Effectively there’s a waiting list of the waiting list to get a season ticket at the 60,000 capacity Celtic Park.

Celtic provided this update yesterday:

“We are delighted to announce that Season Tickets for our 2024/25 campaign have now completely sold-out! Your continued support ensures that Paradise will be full to capacity once more We look forward to welcoming supporters back to a sold-out Celtic Park!”

Ticket Exchange Scheme 

So what can be done? The easiest thing is to introduce a Ticket Exchange Scheme as proposed a few years ago on our sister site The Celtic Star.  Even though every home game is sold out, there are plenty of examples throughout the season where there are empty seats in the stadium.

This happens for a multitude of reasons, holidays, illness, change of dates to suit television, re-arranged fixtures, bad weather maybe cancelling ferries from Ireland and so on.

In most cases the season ticket holder could upload his or her vacancy for a particular game, Celtic could re-sell it and there could be a cash-back element to the season ticket holder with Celtic also gaining financially.  There could also be a discretionary option of donating the money to the Celtic FC Foundation.

What it means for the match day experience is that the stadium will be closer to capacity and many more supporters who want to see Celtic but can’t will be able to get to games, with the added advantage of a better atmosphere.  Struggling to see the downside in this to be honest, other than sorting out the logistics at Celtic’s end.

Allocation of away tickets at Celtic Park

The other thing Celtic could do is reduce the size of away support where appropriate, based on the number of supporters each team brought last season. So for instance Aberdeen would get a bigger allocation than say Kilmarnock or St Johnstone.  Why have empty seats when there are Celtic supporters wanting to attend games at Celtic Park?

Re-develop or rebuild the Main Stand to increase capacity 

The only other option would be to extend the size of the stadium by re-developing the Main Stand and adding a top tier to this to increase the capacity by maybe another 10,000 and also provide the club with additional corporate facilities they’ll need for the coming decades.  We’ve seen across the city the difficulties that stadium redevelopment would cause.

Fergus McCann Celtic director MD with model of new east Stand for Celtic Park

Fergus McCann took the brave decision to move us to Hampden for a season. Re-developing the main stand and doing it properly would take the best part of a season. Would the support be willing to accept such a move happening again to get the capacity at Celtic Park up to 70k or even higher?

Everyone is having a laugh about the steel issues over at Ibrox but the steel on the main stand at Celtic Park dates back to 1929 and won’t last forever. Sooner or later a Celtic Board is going to have to do something about it.

Everyone thought Fergus McCann was mad wanting to build a 60,000 stadium, and sell season tickets. Only he reckoned he could do it.  That took real vision and that’s what is required now from inside Celtic Park.  Demand is huge, Celtic have a huge cash mountain and could easily borrow to fund this major redevelopment. If not over the next few seasons then when?

Tags Celtic Park capacity Latest Celtic news Redeveloping Celtic Park Ticket Exchange Scheme
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