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Shanghai Shenhua season ticket sales start Thursday?

They are two of the hottest questions in Shanghai city right now – when will Shenhua season tickets go on sale and how much will they be? Shanghai’s Xinmin news claims to have some answers for the time being.

Details in the story are rather unclear, with a source inside the ticketing agency which will sell the tickets saying that around 1000-1500 discounted briefs are being offered up first, at a price of around 488 RMB (78 USD). More briefs will be put on sale later, and according to the source, the final cost has yet to be set and a number of different ticket types and payment options will be offered.

The club wants to offer cheaper tickets to student supporters who have little or no personal income, and will confirm the prices of all tickets within seven days, according to the report. However, time is not on Shenhua’s side – the start of the season is barely over a month away, and the Chinese Super Leagues biggest-supported clubs last season, Beijing Guoan and Guangzhou Evergrande, both started selling their season tickets well before Chinese New Year.

In previous years, season tickets were distributed via Shenhua fan groups the Blue Devils and the Blue Boys who handled sales for the club. Last year, season tickets cost 350 rmb – 50 up on the previous season, but before this,  the price had remained frozen at 300 RMB for the past six years.

Demand for tickets in the city is high after the club stunned the footballing world by capturing former French international Nicolas Anelka with an eye-watering contract reputed to be worth USD 300,000 a week. However, for the best part of the last decade, games at the 33,000 capacity Hongkou Football Stadium on the north side of the city have rarely, if ever, sold out.

However, a spokesman for the Blue Devils told the group had already  inundated with requests for season tickets, and said it was rumoured that Shenhua had considered moving to the 80,000 capacity Shanghai Stadium in Xujiahui on the southern side of the city centre. However no such official statements to that end have been made so far and it looks as if competition for tickets at Hongkou Stadium will be fierce this season.

Shenhua also plan to issue some form of electronic ticket this year, after years of using paper briefs with tear-off tabs for each game (see picture).

UK trained journalist and long-time Chinese football observer Cameron Wilson has been writing about Chinese football for over a decade...

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Micah S

    07/02/2012 at 22:08

    You guys (and the Xinmin Evening Post) are awesome. Just this evening the ICS news was reporting that there was still no word on season tickets.

    I wonder how the move to Shanghai Stadium would affect the student fan base. North Shanghai in and above Hongkou has a bunch of universities (SISU, Jincai, Fudan, Tongji, etc). I remember living on Dong Tiyuhui Rd behind SISU and knowing there was a Shenhua game by the crowds of blue-shirted students walking to and from the stadium around game time. But as more universities move to bigger campuses in the suburbs and the Shenhua fan base grows, this may not matter as much as before.

    • bcheng

      08/02/2012 at 11:22

      Actually one of my first CSL experiences was passing by Hongkou when heading back to Fudan, I saw Li Tie outside the stadium that day, but didn’t bother to go in for the match, hehe.

      Like you said, with campuses moving outside the city, and with the way the subway has expanded, I don’t think this would make a major difference.

      It is good to hear that Shenhua’s offering student tickets, this is something I’d wish Guoan would adopt.

      • Micah S

        08/02/2012 at 21:20

        Indeed, student tickets are a great idea. In fact, there are a lot of things you can do with season tickets to grow fan loyalty, I wish the ticketing office would be more creative.

  2. Daryl

    08/02/2012 at 04:11

    How serios is the proposed move away from Hongkou?? I know when I went to Fudan I often went last minute as it was only 15rmb in a taxi, woukdnt be able to do that if it moved

    • WEF Editor

      08/02/2012 at 08:55

      Just a rumour so far, but it might depend on season ticket demand. Shanghai Stadium is an inferior football-watching venue, but it is easy to get to, line 4, 1, and 3 all pass close by.

  3. WEF Editor

    08/02/2012 at 12:04

    “paper briefs” I always tried to use that phrase in my newspaper days, but it never got past the sube ditor….

  4. Micah S

    08/02/2012 at 21:17

    SMG Sports news tonight denied rumors that tickets would go on sale this Friday, citing the fact that not all foreign players have been signed yet and that the management of the team is still in Europe. Earliest, they said, is next week.

    • WEF Editor

      09/02/2012 at 00:00

      Not sure why smg thinks the management team needs to be in shanghai for tickets to go on sale, time is marching on, plus no matter who they sign, they already have Anelka its not gonna make much difference if they sign another big foreign player… seems it will be next week though now

      • Micah S

        09/02/2012 at 00:24

        The meaning seemed to be that the prices had not yet been set, and the ticket company needed the management to sign off on whatever price schedule they prepared.

        I hope the news was not suggesting that it more star players signed, ticket prices would be raised.

        • bcheng

          09/02/2012 at 07:42

          indeed rumors on weibo are to that effect. they say prices are to start at RMB488 and that the club also intends to sell a lot of half season tickets due to the possibility of a big summer signing that would require a raise in prices.

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Shanghai Shenhua

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Established: 1993

Ground: Hongkou Football Stadium, Hongkou District, Shanghai

Capacity: 35,000 (26,000 for football)

Honours: Chinese top-tier league champions: 1995

Chinese top-tier league runners-up: 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008

Chinese FA Cup winners: 1998

Chinese FA Cup runners up: 1995, 1997, 2015

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