Hearts granted bigger capacity for Celtic match but thousands of fans will still miss out
Tynecastle Park has been given permission to host 4,535 fans when Hearts meet Celtic in Saturday’s opening cinch Premiership fixture.
Edinburgh City Council agreed to increase the ground’s capacity at the club’s request, but thousands of season ticket holders will still miss out on the occasion.
Hearts have more than 10,000 season tickets sold ahead of the league opener and they will now hold a ballot to determine who gets entry. No Celtic fans will be permitted into the match, which kicks off at 8pm on Saturday evening.
Curiously, Fir Park has been granted a much larger percentage of supporters the following day when Hibs visit Motherwell. The ground’s normal capacity is 13,600 but North Lanarkshire Council will permit entry to 6,500 people, 2,000 of whom will be away fans.
Tynecastle when full holds 20,100. A maximum of 3,023 supporters were allowed into Tynecastle for Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup tie against Inverness. Hearts insist they asked Edinburgh council for an increase and were given 4,535 in return.
A statement on the official Hearts website read: “Following an application made to Edinburgh City Council, the club can confirm a capacity of 4,535 season ticket holders for Saturday’s cinch Premiership fixture against Celtic.
“Having been granted a capacity of 3,023 Jambos for last Sunday’s match against Inverness CT, the club submitted an application to Edinburgh City Council for a further increase for Saturday’s league opener at Tynecastle.
“We now await further guidance from the local authority in relation to future capacity dispensation.
“Saturday’s game will be open to home supporters only. Season ticket holders who are successful in the ballot will be notified by email tomorrow (Wednesday) and will receive their ticket by post.
“Supporters are reminded that this is a ‘weighted ballot’; meaning those who are unsuccessful for this match will stand a better chance of receiving tickets for the next home fixture.
“We ask those attending on Saturday to please adhere to stadium safety protocols. Please sit in the seat for which you have a ticket and please wear a face covering at all times.
“Food kiosks remain closed, however, supporters will now be permitted to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages into the stadium in sealed containers.”