Sunderland v Lincoln City in League One play-offs: Writer verdict on club ticket policy as 10,000 fans prepare to return
Sunderland will be backed by 10,000 supporters at the Stadium of Light for the play-off clash with Lincoln City.
Our team of SAFC writers deliver their verdicts on the return of fans and the policy adopted by the club for the distribution of tickets.
Mark Donnelly – Sunderland AFC writer – ‘It’s a test the club has passed’
The size of the virtual queue for tickets just moments after sales opened emphasised just how keen Sunderland supporters are to return to the Stadium of Light.
Close to 3,400 fans were already waiting for their opportunity to buy tickets as the clock struck 10:03, while countless others will no doubt have joined since.
With this being the first opportunity for fans to watch their side in the flesh since March 2020, it was imperative that the club got their ticketing procedure correct.
To that end, this was another major early test for Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and the club's new regime as they continue to make their mark on Wearside.
And it's fair to say it's a test that they passed.
While any approach to ticket sales would not please everyone - inevitably there are always going to be winners and losers when only a limited number of seats are available - the policy adopted by the club seems the fairest method.
Also pleasing to read was the fact that the club has consulted supporters over the sale plans and ticket prices - which it must be said, could have been pitched far higher.
It's one thing to speak to fans, and another entirely to listen to them and take their thoughts on board.
Sunderland have certainly done the latter and the result is a sales plan that is fair, affordable and which will help to further endear the Louis-Dreyfus regime to supporters.
Richard Mennear – Assistant Editor (Sport) – ‘Can you imagine the roar when the players walk out?’
The wait is almost over.
A week on Saturday, 10,000 Sunderland fans will be walking back into the Stadium of Light to take their seat to watch the second leg of the League One play-off semi-final.
A huge game anyway but one made all the more special by the return of fans - or at least some supporters - to stadiums after the toughest of 12-months for everyone during this pandemic.
Every single supporter will have their own story to tell from the past 12-months but there is now light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Can you imagine the roar when the players emerge from the tunnel?
The stadium may only be a quarter full but I suspect you won't be able to tell.
Johnson and new owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus have never experienced fans inside the Stadium of Light.
Some afternoon lies in store.
You will never be able to please everyone when it comes to these complex ticket arrangements but the first come, first served approach for season ticket holders is a fair one and has gone down well, generally, with supporters.
By the time this piece is published, there is every chance the game will have already sold out.
It was key Sunderland got this ticket scheme correct and it would seem they have.
Sunderland fans faced an eager wait to find out how it would work but when the news landed it was well received in the main.
Now on to the play-off campaign with thousands of fans roaring on Johnson & Co.