Less than twelve months ago a crowd of over 3,000 at Sincil Bank was seen as a massive achievement. Only twice did we fail to get to that magic 3k mark, against Southport and Guiseley in the FA Cup. Next season it is looking increasingly likely that 3,000 will be just the starting point.
For four days now the queues have formed around the ground, and they show no signs of easing up into the second week. People who have queued have talked of there being very few groups of seats together at all, and blocks 6 (upper and lower) and block 5 (upper) are rumoured to have virtually sold out. I spoke to a club insider of my desire to get three seats together and their advice was ‘get down very soon otherwise you might struggle’. The Coop stand holds 5,000 fans, and on current sales you’re going to struggle to get two seats together. 3000? 4000? Who knows?
This would be working on the assumption that the final strEight ticket holders all renew, as well as existing season ticket holders, but why wouldn’t you? The product we’ve had served up has been as good as any season in my lifetime, and the sleeping giant of Lincoln City has been awoken.
Further fuelling the season ticket frenzy is the finance option as well, and I suspect many fans are using that rather than risking buying week to week and missing out. Imagine that, in less than a year we’ve gone from being able to pick your seat to having to reserve it for fear of not getting in at all!
I took up the final strEight option and therefore feel quite blessed that my seat is secure, although at present it looks as if my Dad might not get sat with us which is a real shame. He can’t get to renew until late next week, and unless one of those lone free seats is next to the ones reserved by my friend Dave and I, then I won’t get to chew the fat with my old man every game. It is the price of having a successful side, the only real down side to our current fortunes.
I have seen lots of moaning on social media about queues and opening times and all that. You know what? I’m bored of it now. There’s always someone with an axe to grind, and in 90% of cases the people moaning the loudest were nowhere to been seen when we were losing to the likes of Welling and Salisbury. I understand it’s frustrating, in an ideal world I’d be able to waltz in at my leisure and snap up three seats together but I’m afraid that isn’t going to happen. Things have changed, lots of people want to watch Lincoln City, get over it.
If we do sell more than 3,000 then that would more or less assure us of 4,500 fans each week. I think it’s safe to assume many will still come along on a week to week basis, and with the inclusion of good travelling support I would think 4,500 is a safe starting point. If we’re successful I think this season has shown we could easily attract 7,000+ as an average.
What that means is that we could be in the top five for average attendance in League Two next season, and with big attendances comes that all-important commodity we all love: cash.
Below is the average crowds in that division this season. The league will lose Portsmouth, Plymouth and Doncaster, but it’s safe to assume that Chesterfield, Coventry and Swindon will have comparable gates to those sides. As yet Luton could go up as well, meaning as well as the relegated sides, the big crowds next year will be us, Notts County and Grimsby. There’s some delicious local derbies for Danny and Nicky to get stuck into, and if they thought last season was good, imagine us packing 7,000 into Sincil Bank every single week next season. I can almost guarantee if we’re around the top seven and host Grimsby we’ll have 8-9k in the Bank again.
It could happen. I firmly believe this is a club going places, and queues from 8 in the morning until 7 at night go some way to proving that. Anyone who thought that the new faces were simply jumping on a band wagon have to look again, because it looks very much as though they’re putting their money where their mouths are, and in the end I’m afraid it all comes down to money. The more fans we have, the more money we have, the more we can spend on players, training facilities and getting some decent food outlets in the ground.
If you are heading down to the ground try and be ready when you get served. Try and know where you want to sit, and please make sure you understand what it is you’re down there for. If you’re renewing make sure you have your forms with you, and for the love of god try and be polite to the staff in there. I know they’re paid to do a job, but they’re currently working non-stop from morning until evening and that is putting them under immense pressure. I’ve heard stories of them being spoken to really badly, as if the queue was their fault. It isn’t, without them working diligently and tirelessly you’d be queuing longer, or not at all.