Premier League Asia Trophy Hong Kong 2017

Gone in 24 hours: all 50,000 tickets sold for both days of Premier League Asia Trophy

Despite problems with the online system, full houses are guaranteed for matches featuring Liverpool, Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 June, 2017, 8:44pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 July, 2017, 3:36pm

A full house is guaranteed for both days of the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong after tickets were snapped up within 24 hours of going on sale on Friday.

More than 25,000 tickets were available for each day of the tournament, which features matches on July 19 and 22. For the first time, four Premier League sides will play at Hong Kong Stadium in So Kon Po.

“The Premier League has fantastic support across Asia and none better than in Hong Kong,” said Premier League managing director Richard Masters.

“Thank you to everyone for supporting the Asia Trophy. The clubs are really looking forward to coming and to know that there is so much interest in the tournament will add to the excitement.”

Hong Kong Football Association chief executive Mark Sutcliffe said: “The incredible demand for tickets reinforces the tremendous interest in the Premier League in Hong Kong and vindicates the decision to host four teams playing both match days here.

“We are so excited about this event which we know will give Hong Kong fans a grandstand view of the best footballers in the world.”

Although there were only small crowds queuing up at various Cityline outlets on Friday morning, the lines lengthened once tickets started to go on sale at 2pm. The online system, meanwhile, was jammed throughout the day because of strong demand from fans.

“There is a big demand for tickets whenever the Asia Trophy takes place in Hong Kong,” said Hong Kong Football Association chairman Brian Leung Hung-tak.

“The same thing happened four years ago when we had the last event here because the Premier League clubs are always popular among the fans.”

Leicester City will meet West Bromwich Albion on the opening day with local fans’ favourites Liverpool taking on Crystal Palace. The two match winners will meet in the final three days later, while the other two will battle for third place.

Liverpool Supporters Club Hong Kong branch were allocated more than 1,000 tickets exclusively for their members.

“We expected the tickets would be gone quickly as Liverpool are a top Premier League side and a popular club. Fortunately our members could pre-order the tickets to save us a lot of hassles,” said Minotti Cheng, an executive committee member.

The four participating teams have been allocated tickets for their supporters’ clubs as well as their corporate sponsors.

Earlier on Friday, the much-maligned Cityline website seemed to be struggling with demand. Although tickets went on sale at 2pm on Friday, even from 10am the website was displaying “too busy” error messages.

The site declared: “All internet ticketing sessions are currently taken up by customers. Please access again by clicking the ‘Retry’ button below. Thank you for your patience.”

On Thursday, a Cityline spokesman insisted the site had been upgraded since 2015, when football fans trying to buy tickets for a Hong Kong v China World Cup qualifier were left frustrated.