Sunderland fans' Wembley woes over problems registering to apply for Checkatrade Trophy final tickets
Worried Sunderland AFC fans say they are struggling to register online for tickets to this month's Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley.
Jack Ross's side beat Bristol Rovers 2-0 in the semi-final stage of the tournament earlier this week took a place in the final against Portsmouth on Sunday, March 31.
The club have been allocated a total of 38,979 for the clash.
The club announced earlier this week that fans wanting to get tickets would have to register with Ticketmaster before tickets for the showdown go on sale to season ticket holders on Friday.
Fans can register online or by calling Ticketmaster.
But several supporters have contacted the Echo to say they have experienced difficulties when registering online, leaving them concerned that they could miss out.
Others have gone in person to the Stadium of Light ticket office to ask for help with queues forming outside Black Cat House today.
Paul McKeown, 61, is hoping to go to the game alongside son Josh, 10.
"I've managed to register my son's name on Ticketmaster but when I go to do mine it says "unknown"," said Paul, who is originally from Hebburn but now lives in Shropshire.
"We've been season ticket holders together for four of five years now and I've been watching Sunderland since I was nine.
"I've been able to buy tickets for the Wycombe away game on the club's official site as I mainly get to away games so I have enough loyalty points, but I still can't register for final tickets.
"I know they're only on sale to season ticket holders until Monday so I'm a bit concerned now.
"I haven't got a problem with the club using Ticketmaster, but it's a bit much to expect more than 20,000 season ticket holders to register within a couple of days.
"People may be away working or on holiday and they won't get the chance."
Philip Avery, 59, of Pallion, has been along to the Black Cat house at the Stadium of Light today after being unable to register.
"I've been going to games for 50 years and I've never seen anything like it. It's absolute chaos," he said.
"I think a lot of the older people who are trying to register have been left a bit bamboozled by having to try and do things online.
"A lot of these fans should be at Wembley as a reward for their support and hopefully things get sorted."
Ray Taylor, 61, of Horden, said he tried to put his details into Ticketmaster but was told his account number was not recognised.
He said: "I've been to the Stadium of Light twice today and I'm going back now.
"When I got there at 9am there were two people on the desk and when I went back at 11am there were three.
"There are queues inside and outside and it seems like nobody has thought this through.
"The club have dealt with things like this well in the past but for some reason this time they haven't."
LATEST TICKET INFO
The club has released further information on its website today.
Firstly, supporters must activate their account with Ticketmaster.
Supporters must have their SAFC customer number in order to set up their account (SAFC season card holders have their customer number listed on their season card for easy reference).
Non-season card holders can find their customer number by logging into their online accounts at www.safc.com/tickets.
All supporters on the SAFC database can activate their new Ticketmaster account, before the sales process begins.
Accounts can be grouped together during the activation process, allowing friends and family members to apply for seats in the same area (there is a maximum number of nine people per group permitted).
Tickets will go on sale in three priority periods, the first of which commences on Friday, March 8.
There are two methods of purchase available – online or by telephone.
A credit or debit card is required for all ticket purchases.
Due to anticipated demand, supporters are strongly recommended to use the www.eticketing.co.uk/safc Ticketmaster online system as the "easiest and most convenient" method of securing their ticket.
Fans can phone 0844 453 9015.
Telephone lines will be open from 8am-8pm on weekdays (except for Friday, March 8, when they open at 9am and Friday, March 15 when they open at 10am) and 8am-6pm at the weekend.
Calls are charged at 7p per minute plus your standard network charge.
This line is for bookings only, not enquiries. All enquiries should be made to SAFC, via 0371 911 1973.
PRIORITY TICKET SALE PERIODS
Tickets will be sold in three priority periods, with 2018-19 season card holders being the first priority.
Priority 1, Friday 08 March - Monday, March 11.Priority 1 is for 2018-19 SAFC season card holders (including 18, 12 and 8 game season card holders).
Season card holders in the Priority 1 category can purchase their ticket online from 8am on Friday 08 March at www.eticketing.co.uk/safc Season card holders in the Priority 1 category can buy their ticket by telephone from 9am on Friday 08 March, 0844 453 9015.There is a limit of one ticket per season card. All current season card holders are guaranteed a ticket, if they buy within this initial priority period of 08-11 March.
Priority 2, Tuesday, March 12.Priority 2 is for supporters who have a recent home league ticket purchase history with the club (the previous two seasons, from 2017-18 onwards) and who have also bought a match ticket for SAFC v Walsall on Saturday 16 March.
The Walsall match ticket must be purchased no later than 10am on Monday 11 March to meet the eligibility criteria. SAFC International Members can also buy during this period. Supporters in the Priority 2 category can buy their ticket from 10am on Tuesday 12 March online at www.eticketing.co.uk/safc or by telephone, 0844 453 9015There is a limit of one ticket per customer number.
Priority 3, Wednesday, March 13.Priority 3 is for any remaining supporters who have a recent league ticket purchase history with the club.
All supporters listed on the SAFC database can apply during this time, subject to availability. Supporters in the Priority 3 category can buy their ticket online from 8am on Wednesday March 13 at www.eticketing.co.uk/safc.Supporters in the Priority 3 category can buy their ticket by telephone from 9am on Wednesday 13 March, 0844 453 9015.There is a limit of one ticket per customer number.
Pricing categories at Wembley Stadium are split into five sections and there is also a concession rate for supporters aged 65 and over.
Young supporters aged 16 and under are priced at £10 across all levels of the stadium and Young Adults, aged 17-21 receive a 25% discount from the Full Adult Price.
Alongside this, a booking fee of £2.40 per ticket is applicable.
A postage charge of £2.50 per order is also in place.
We appreciate that these additional fees are higher than Sunderland AFC charges for games at the Stadium of Light, they are standard prices for Wembley however and we do not have the ability to change them.
Please refer to stadium plan for more information. https://www.safc.com/news/ticket-news/2019/march/checkatrade-trophy-final-ticket-info
Cat 1 - £60 Adults, £30 Concession. Cat 2 - £48 Adults, £24 Concession. Cat 3 - £42 Adults, £21 Concession. Cat 4 - £36 Adults, £18 Concession. Cat 5 - £28 Adults, £14 Concession. Cat 6 - £20 Adults, £10 Concession.
The price categories will be sold on a first come first served basis and are subject to availability.
There are a number of Wheelchair and Ambulant Disabled tickets with accompanying Personal Assistant tickets available.
These are sold under the same priority periods of sale as listed above.
For wheelchair tickets please contact 0333 003 5935.
The line is open Monday - Friday from 9am -5pm.
For ambulant disabled tickets please contact [email protected] or call 0371 911 1973.
There are a number of seats which have step free access that are recommended for persons with accessibility needs.
These are positioned in Level 1 rows 30/31.
Head-sets and mini induction loops must be booked in advance, please enquire via [email protected] for details.