When the official attendance figures for yesterday's match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace, the first Premier League match in the new Spurs field, were announced, there was a bit of confusion on social media. The new home of the Spurs has an indicated capacity of 62,062, just above (according to him, banteriffically) the capacity of the Emirates Stadium of the Arsenal.
But the badistance, officially sold to the public, was credited as 59,215. That's not just 2,947 fewer people than what the club says it can fit into the stadium, it's actually lower than the count of people for Monday's match in the Emirates between Arsenal and Newcastle (59,869).
This caused some attendees to complain a bit, especially after it was noted that the two rows of the stadium were empty and unsold, apparently on purpose, by the club.
He also brought out the predictable army of Arsenal trolls on Twitter, who were happy to point out that they apparently beat the bright new Tottenham stadium for a fairly pedestrian home game against Toon.
So why were they empty in what was, without a doubt, Tottenham's largest and most coveted party in recent memory? The theories ranged from keeping the two empty front rows except the NFL games, to a vast conspiracy to keep the Spurs fans desperate to buy tickets because … IDK, the reasons.
The real reason is much more, well, reasonable. According to Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust, who answered MANY questions about this, it was a combination of factors. This included that the club was too cautious in the first game at "full capacity" with respect to lines of sight and buffers among visiting fans, some people simply did not show up, and because of the way the club calculates the badistance numbers.
It makes total sense that the club is too cautious when it comes to filling the stadium for the first time; If there are problems, it is better to know in advance those kinds of things so that any future problems can be solved. It also makes a lot of sense for the club to retain some contingency tickets for emergencies, once again, as a precaution. And as someone who has a daily job involves working in the performing arts industry, I know that no matter how exhausted a concert, there will ALWAYS be people who simply do not show up.
But my favorite part of that statement is correct in the end: Unlike other clubs, – the bit not written here is AS SUCH AS ARSENAL – The spurs prefer to announce real numbers through turnstiles, instead of sold tickets. I can support that method to calculate the attendance, since it reflects who is really there and not only who bought the tickets for the game.
The good news is that now that the first game is in the bag, it seems that the Spurs will open more of those empty seats for fans who want to attend future local games. And since it also seems that seasonal ticket holders were not granted seats in those first rows, this implies that those seats could reach the hands of future punctual badistants. As, for example and purely hypothetical, I. Or you!