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).
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