Villarreal-Almeria: it's a sellout at El Madrigal

Filling stands in Vila-real despite the continuing economic crisis: Sr. Roig shows how to do it - Susana Garcia

Yesterday Villarreal put 9000 tickets on sale for the all-important promotion match on Saturday against Almeria, and they're all spoken for.

An unprecedented demand for tickets at El Madrigal: 9000 tickets were sold yesterday (4,6, or 10 euros each) and the stadium is sold out for the match against Almeria. Well, except for the 2500 available in the visitors' end, but those are expected to be sold as well, as Almeria is offering a travel package (including ticket) for 25 euros, which is quite a deal considering it's a 5 1/2-6 hour bus ride each way.

The 'invasion amarilla' of Barcelona last Sunday was just as successful off the pitch as on it. President Roig and players (Jony Pereira quoted yesterday) have emphasized the support of the fans has been key the last few weeks, and anyone watching Sunday's match had to be impressed with the atmosphere inside the ground. The total attendance was 13,826, of which around 10,000 were yellow-wearing, flag-waving, scarf-holding Villarreal supporters.

Admittedly, trips such as the one to Barcelona (and Murcia, earlier) depend to some degree on the club offering a cheap travel package including tickets, and the home matches also benefit from making additional tickets available cheaply to supporters, but perhaps that is the point. Attendances in Spain have fallen this year as the recession continues. It's expensive to pay full price to go to a Primera match (and many Segunda ones), so why not cut the prices and keep, or build, your fan base?

The marginal cost of admitting a fan to the stadium is small--the price they pay, even at €4, is much greater. It's revenue for the club, and increases the number of fans who can see the game--surely not a bad thing. Yet again, Villarreal under Sr. Roig leads the way.

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