The 1,692 empty seats that could end up costing St Mirren over £200,000

The attendance at the St Mirren v Celtic match on Sunday was 6,331 while the capacity at The SMiSA Stadium is 8,023. Celtic received just 1,439 tickets for the game, so the home attendance can be roughly estimated at just under 5,000, or 4,892 to be more exact.

The demand from Celtic supporters wishing to attend this game far outstripped the supply of tickets but St Mirren opted to proceed with their experiment in restricting the travelling Celtic support to one stand behind a goal, and to attempt to attract families and illegular attending St Mirren fans to the other side of the park.

The scoreline went St Mirren’s way and they certainly deserve plenty of credit for wanting the points more than a lacklustre Celtic side playing feeble football in that bland third kit. The score though is really an irrelevance as Dundee United recently opted for an empty stand rather than Celtic bums on seats and ended up losing 9-0 to Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side. Fair play to St Mirren for the performance and the result, on a day when Celtic deserved what we got, ie nothing.

The point in the aftermath of the fixture is that there were 1,692 empty seats at the game on Sunday. At £30 a ticket that’s lost revenue of £50,760 for a community club with a small budget and a fan base of less that 5,000 for a visit from the Champions.

Assuming St Mirren make the top six this season, and it looks likely at the moment, there will be two visits from theRangers and a second visit from Celtic, so the total lost revenue based on numbers from Sunday is around £200,000.

St Mirren v Celtic –  Mark O Hara celebrates scoring the first goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match at The SMISA Stadium, on  Sunday September 18, 2022. Photo Steve Welsh

It’s up to St Mirren how they move forward. Perhaps a suggestion could be to share the family stand with the away support, and that could also benefit fans from the two Edinburgh clubs plus Aberdeen, by allowing St Mirren supporting families to go to one side and away supporters with children going to the other side. Motherwell used to do something similar in the corner of their main stand at Fir Park.

Or to maximise revenue St Mirren might just decide to follow the lead from the likes of Livingston and St Johnstone in recognising the obvious and maximising their financial return from visiting supports especially when they are playing at McDiarmid Park against Celtic or theRangers.

Earlier today the Celtic Ticket Office confirmed that the club had received 4,505 tickets for next month’s trip to Perth to play St Johnstone on Saturday 8 October. The Celtic support will occupy the stands behind both goal with the other two stands being available for home fans. This game kicks-off at 12.30 pm and is also live on Sky Sports.

Meanwhile the Celtic Ticket Office has also confirmed that the club has received 3,008 tickets for the eagerly awaited Champions League trip to Germany to face RB Leipzig on Wednesday 5 October at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, and ticket prices are just £15.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

2 Comments

  1. It is the same with St Johnstone on October 8. I was hoping to buy some tickets for friends (from New Zealand) for the game and asked St Johnstone. I was told that the tickets would not go on general sale. You have to apply to Celtic or to have bought from St Johnstone in the past. So it looks as if they will be quite happy to see empty seats! But what can I do? Here I stand wanting to give them money, but they won’t take it! Bizarre, isn’t it?

  2. Attendance was almost identical to when Celtic last visited and had two stands instead of one. St.Mirren’s home support has been dropping at an alarming rate in games against Celtic and Rangers since giving you two stands, so a decision had to be made.

    We’ll take the three points and you can keep the money 👍🏼

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