Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SMALL SCREEN TREAT; but You Couldn't Miss Those Empty Seats

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SMALL SCREEN TREAT; but You Couldn't Miss Those Empty Seats

Article excerpt

I WATCHED the Watford game on TV like thousands of other Boro supporters.

I had an excuse as I was abroad on holiday and watched the game alone on TV outside a pub while, inside, the bar was packed as almost everyone else chose the infinitely more attractive spectacle of QPR v Manchester City.

Other than for those of us with Boro or Watford affiliations, it was never likely to be a popular viewing choice with neutrals.

The kick-off time, along with the fact it was bonfire night, was always going to affect the attendance, although I am sure that the TV money more than compensated the club financially.

What it did not do was prevent the nation witnessing once again acres of empty Riverside seats.

It's embarrassing and despite the figures proving that we are up there with the best percentage attendance increases and Championship averages, it does little to prevent the snide comments from up the road about the size of our support.

I know that the club does instigate offers and ticket deals to encourage more to attend but given the peculiarities of the date and kick off time as well as TV coverage, the Watford game was surely an opportunity to do so much more.

In the preceding week almost 4,000 Boro fans travelled to watch us in action at Southampton and then at Doncaster.

Not all of these would have been season ticket holders and another ticket purchase might have been a financial commitment too many.

An offer to all ticket holders from the away games to purchase a ticket for a tenner would have been a fantastic gesture from the club to show their appreciation of our fanatically loyal travelling support.

In fact, why stop there? A tenner for adults and a fiver for kids and OAPs across the board might just have helped fill aground that was barely a third full.

Such an initiative would, as per usual, have seen some people grumbling, but season tickets holders have already enjoyed a fantastic saving on match day prices. …

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