Kitchee counting on 5,000-strong crowd
Kitchee are expecting another significant increase in attendance this afternoon, with chief executive Ken Ng Kin hoping to top 5,000 spectators.
Despite having one of their less attractive of opponents - Guangzhou side Sunray Cave - Ng is expecting that the club's promotional activities in local schools, in conjunction with the Road Safety Council, will double their attendance for the second match in a row.
'What we're trying to do is actively develop the next generation of football fans,' said the Kitchee supremo, who claims to have been inundated with requests for free tickets from the schools involved.
'On this particular day we are working with a uniform organisation and we'll work with other organisations on other days to expand our appeal,' Ng said.
With virtually no fan base before this season, Kitchee, who played exhibition games against AC Milan and Newcastle United this summer to boost their profile, opened the season with just under 1,600 fans for the opening game, upping that to 2,241 when they played South China two weeks ago.
Their latest marketing gimmicks will include free Halloween face painting and trick or treat candy.
Kitchee, who this season are playing all their 'home' games at the Hong Kong Stadium, will be helped towards their target by the appearance of South China, still Hong Kong's most popular club, in the first match of a double-header.
Tempted by Kitchee's offer to cover all the matchday costs in return for handing over all commercial rights, Buler Rangers have agreed to play their match with the Caroliners as a curtain-raiser.
Rangers this week produced the league's first coaching casualty of the season, relieving Brazilian Anilton de Conceicao, who had been absent this week looking after his family while his wife was in hospital, of his duties.