With the first of three Sydney derbies to kick off on Saturday evening, all reports indicate it will be yet another sell out.
Last season all three derby games sold out, with two of the games being held at the 21,487 seat Pirtek Stadium.
This season, two games will take place at the 45,500 seat Allianz Stadium. All three are likely to sell out.
I know I will enrage those football purists who believe the game should only be played on genuine rectangular stadium pitches, however, I believe it is time for the derby to visit ANZ Stadium.
With all due respect to the Melbourne equivalent, the Sydney derby has become the marquee fixture of each A-League season.
It would more than likely attract a crowd of around 60,000 thousand.
As I’m sure anyone who has attended a derby at Allianz Stadium will agree, the occasion is second to none.
The colour, the noise, the passion. is breathtaking.
The sound of the Cove and the RBB trading chants while 22 men do battle on the pitch is spine tingling.
Can you imagine the 30,000 Sky Blue fans and 30,000 red and black fans waving flags, standing and chanting?
With three fixtures per season between the sides, both sides would have an opportunity to host one fixture, while they could share the profits from the third game, likely to host the largest crowd of all three games.
Both sides would benefit from the increase in revenue, while the FFA could market it as THE marquee fixture of the season.
Both teams would be allocated half the tickets to sell to members and fans. If any tickets remain with two weeks until the game, they’re fair game.
If either side failed to sell their ticket allotment, the opposition fans could snap them up.
The bragging rights of out selling their cross-city rivals would be almost as good as the three points on offer.
Unless the Grand Final ends up as a Sydney derby, this game would attract the biggest crowd of the season due to ANZ’s capacity.
I realise that ANZ Stadium is in the Western suburbs of Sydney, which means technically the Wanderers would receive two home games a season.
I would be more than happy for the ANZ Stadium fixture to take place once every two years, in the year the Wanderers have two home games.
Yes the Wanderers would pass up the Pirtek advantage, but the benefits would surely mean more for both the club and the game in Australia.
Last season, Sydney FC fans were very vocal in their displeasure at having their allocated tickets for the Wanderers hosted games sell out very quickly.
The fact that the Wanderers have over 10,000 members in a 22,000 odd seat stadium meant that Sydney’s away bay was small, especially considering the demand for tickets.
Even if it was a one-off fixture, the occasion alone would be huge.
At first I’m sure there would be plenty of opposition from the fans, but in the end, a 60,000+ crowd, plus the noise would win over fans.