THE scramble for Scottish Cup final tickets began in earnest yesterday as Hibernian and Hearts both announced plans for selling their allocations of 20,000 each.
With season-ticket holders at both clubs receiving priority, it is thought extremely unlikely that there will be a general public sale for the match on 19 May.
The two Edinburgh clubs, who are meeting in the final for the first time since 1896, agreed details of the sale at a meeting with the Scottish Football Association on Wednesday. The clubs had agreed beforehand that there would be a 50-50 split, and had no complaints when informed of how many they would get.
Hibs, who beat Aberdeen in last Saturday’s semi-final, have announced a period between this Monday and Saturday 5 May during which only their season-ticket members will be able to buy a ticket. Fans who have a season ticket for this season will be entitled to one final ticket each, as will those who have already bought one for next season. Supporters who have one for both seasons will be entitled to buy two.
Season-ticket holders who wish to sit together at Hampden will be able to apply to do so. Details of this and other aspects of the application process are available on the club’s website, www.hibernianfc.co.uk.
“All revenues from season-ticket memberships will be given to manager Pat Fenlon to invest in the playing squad,” a statement on the website reads. “It is the single most important source of income for the team on the pitch.”
The website also confirmed that a public sale would be improbable. “If there are any tickets remaining after the priority sale, details of numbers available and the process will be announced on Monday 7 May.” Hearts have approximately 10,000 season-ticket holders compared to Hibs’ 7,000, and are therefore unable to offer every one of them two tickets. They are giving priority to those supporters with the highest number of loyalty points, and once that group has had a chance to buy tickets those with a smaller number of points will be given an opportunity.
Full details are available on www.heartsfc.co.uk. Hearts, like Hibs, will in due course issue further notification of any possible sale of remaining tickets.
After the clubs’ combined allocation of 40,000, the biggest segment of tickets will go to Hampden debenture-holders and members of the national stadium’s lounges – a total of 5,500. Some tickets which are not bought by debenture-holders could still go to the clubs, but to date the uptake has been higher than usual for a match not involving the Old Firm.
In addition to the tickets they are selling, Hearts and Hibs have a small number of tickets to distribute to non-playing members of their squads and other staff. The Royal Box accounts for 40 seats, the cup presentation party 20, media seating 236 and the broadcasting gantry around 100.
There are 500 disability seats, around the same number for sponsors, and 200 for the families of the two squads. A small area to enforce segregation, mainly occupied by police, will take up roughly 300 seats.
Another area has been designated as a sterile, unoccupied zone to ensure space between the two sets of fans. That accounts for 131 seats.