11,000 tickets for AFL clash go on sale

ORGANISERS have capped the crowd for the Essendon-Richmond clash in Wangaratta at 11,000 but admit they don’t know exactly how many could fit into the ground.

Tickets for the March 2 NAB Cup match at Norm Minns Oval go on sale today, but the game is a pre-sold event, meaning there will be no tickets available at the gate.

Tickets can be bought from the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre and Ticketmaster.

Last year’s abandoned Essendon-St Kilda game was a sell-out with 11,000 tickets pre-sold, and VCFL area manager John O’Donohue said this year’s match would be just as popular.

“It is expected to be a sell-out again but everyone has to get a ticket, even under-15,” O’Donohue said.

“If you don’t have a ticket you don’t get in.

“Last year we left it open to see how ticket sales went (but) regardless of the numbers there will be no gate sales.”

The crowd for the Essendon-St Kilda match was initially capped at 15,000 before being downgraded to 11,000.

O’Donohue defended the cap, saying it was for catering and spectator comfort purposes.

“It’s an equation the council work through for major events and to make it comfortable,” he said.

“It’s a little bit unknown because we didn’t get everyone in the ground last year.

“We basically sold 11,000 so we are expecting the same again.

“It’s a lot easier for the caterers, the grounds staff and security to manage everything.

“There will be no cash handling at the gates so entry into the ground is a lot easier.”

Both clubs, who will arrive by bus at least a day before the game, will train on the oval the day before the match.

Essendon will also undertake its two-day community camp in the North East before the game, with players visiting Beechworth, Myrtleford and Bright.

The James Hird-coached Bombers, who are going all-out in their attempt to make up for last year’s no-show, will hold a function at the Gateway motel on Thursday, February 28.