Arsenal have confirmed that 2,000 supporters will be in attendance for next week’s Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna.
The government outlined plans for the return of fans to sporting fixtures last week with capacities linked to the Covid-status of each region.
When existing national restrictions come to an end on Tuesday, London is set to be in Tier 2 – the middle tier, which allows for stadiums to be 50 per cent full or an overall capacity of 2,000; whichever number is smaller.
If London’s infection rate continues to drop and the capital is added to the Tier 1 list, the capacity could increase to 4,000 fans. Conversely, if things get worse and the city is categorised as Tier 3, games will be played behind closed doors again.
Obviously, 2,000 fans in a stadium built to hold 60,000 will make for a very different matchday experience but it’s a start on the long road to normality being restored.
Arsenal had hoped fans would return in October for the Premier League clash with Sheffield United but those plans were parked as virus infections started rising nationwide.
In September, season ticket holders were asked to make an ‘Initial Payment’ to secure automatic entry into ballots for every home game across all competitions. For the moment, this process remains mothballed but will soon come into play.
Due to the short notice, for the Rapid Vienna game only, tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to Gold and Premium members who made the aforementioned ‘Initial Payment’. They go on sale on Saturday morning. Click here for more details.
Arsenal haven’t played in front of home fans since Alex Lacazette’s late winner secured a 1-0 win over West Ham United in March, more than 260 days ago.