Bates - 30,000+ crowd attainable for West Ham game
Ken Bates says that Neil Warnock`s wishes of a 30,000 crowd for the home game with West Ham are very much attainable.
Warnock has made no secret of his desire to pack Elland Road since his appointment and has continuously mentioned a crowd figure of around 30,000. Bates says ticket sales are going very well and a 30,000 plus crowd looks likely.
Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Bates said, "Up to last night we had achieved over 25,000 sales and West Ham have taken their full allocation and I think they have sold them all and the bookings are coming in very well.
"We have sold the highest amount of hospitality packages this season, so it is looking good. I think 30,000 is achievable and maybe a bit more and we always have a lot walk up on a match-day."
Warnock was hoping for a crowd close to 30,000 for last weekend`s game with Southampton, something that was never likely after being chosen by Sky for live TV coverage and remaining a Category A game.
Bates says that Sky at one stage were interested in showing the West Ham game and admitted that home games on TV cost and not make the club money.
"Sky at one time wanted to put this one on TV and I am very glad for whatever reason they decided against it. There is no doubt that live TV games hit our gates hard. I remember someone having a moan and saying Bates takes as many Sky TV games as he can because he gets £100,000 for it.
"That is nothing compared to what we lose and I would sooner do our live games away from home and the home games be played at 3pm on a Saturday.
"It gives all the true fans a chance to turn up in person and support the club and I think Neil`s hopes of 30,000 are very much attainable, particularly the way we are playing at the moment.
"We are playing good football and the Southampton game was a cracker. Everyone went out and gave their all and it is good to see that attitude and atmosphere coming back again to Elland Road because we have missed it over the past few months," added Bates.
Leeds have already been chosen for live TV coverage on twelve occasions this season and are to be shown live against Middlesbrough on Sunday and Reading on Good Friday, April 6th in the coming month.
The crowds are down at Elland Road this season on average by just over 4,000 from 27,299 to 23,208.
So far this season, only the Burnley game on January 2nd has achieved a crowd close (27,295) to last season`s average.
A number of Leeds fans are staying away from Elland Road due to the excessive ticket price demands.
Away fans have also been boycotting Elland Road, with away tickets now costing £36 for a category A game since the move into the West Stand in October.
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