Arsenal seats the hot ticket with Sydney games set to go on sale

The allure of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal has organisers confident that tickets for the English giant’s two-game Australia tour next July will be an almost instant sell-out when they go on sale on Tuesday.


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Match agent Lou Sticca – the mover and shaker responsible for bringing Chelsea and Tottenham to Sydney's ANZ Stadium last year for games against Sydney FC – is convinced the Gunners will prove every bit as irresistible for their clash against the Sky Blues and the duel with Western Sydney Wanderers at the same venue on Thursday 13 July, 2017, and Saturday 15 July.

Dubbed the ‘Arsenal in Sydney Tour’, ANZ Stadium will be transformed into a carbon copy of The Emirates Stadium.  Gunners fans will be designated an area of the stadium in homage to their hallowed North Bank in what has been dubbed the 'Emirates experience'.

Meanwhile, fans of Sydney FC and the Wanderers will be at the opposite end of the stadium in the "Clock End", the zone of the Emirates reserved for visiting fans as a full-strength Arsenal prepare to hit Australia for the first time in 40 years.

"As we saw last year with Chelsea and Tottenham, two sell-outs at the stadium in matter of three days, it just goes to show the appetite Australian have for the big EPL clubs – and Arsenal are right up there," said Sticca.

"They have a massive following in Australia. They are one of the most high-profile clubs in the world thanks to the Arsene Wenger effect. Our research tells us they are probably the second most popular EPL team in Australia."

While Wenger has hinted he might accept the vacant England job, he has also insisted that he will not renege on his contract, which still has a year to run - meaning he will almost certainly be at the helm when Arsenal touch down.

Ahead of him, the club have sent Gunners legend Freddie Ljungberg to promote their tour, and he arrived in Sydney on Tuesday for a whirlwind visit.

“Arsene Wenger revolutionised the way Arsenal play and produced a style that is one of best on the Continent," added Sticca.

"The club is famous for some massive stars of the past like Thierry Henry and Denis Bergkamp and really set so many trends in the EPL.”

While 12 months is an eternity in football, at this stage Arsenal – who haven’t finished below fourth place in last 20 years in the EPL - will feature big guns like Alexis Sanchez - Chile's player of the tournament as they took out the Copa America - European Championship finalists Oliver Giraud and Laurent Koscieny, German genius Mesut Ozil, Welsh wizard Aaron Ramsey and England’s Jack Wilshire and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

"It’s a classic case of the EPL, because of the visibility on TV over the last 10 years, calling in to most households," said Sticca.

"Everybody knows what’s going on there, so many world stars play there and that’s made it the league spoken about more than any other in mainstream media.

"So many Aussies go to London and Arsenal is a club which attracts people who may not be born football fans but want to get along to the Emirates to sample the local sports life ... and now they are coming here."

Sticca sees no end in sight to the 'who’s who' of English football coming for money spinning tours of Australia in the wake of visits by Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea – and now Arsenal

Australians are getting used to then calibre of these teams coming out, they are enjoying it and I think going forward we'll continue to see it happening on a regular basis," he said.

"At the moment the market wants it, and we’re trying to deliver what they want. We have a few others in the pipeline also."

While some local critics label the tours as vehicles for Euro snobs to thumb their noses at the A-league, Sticca sees only upside for all stakeholders.

“Our model has always involved local opposition and has brought A-league clubs international exposure, and opened up discussion in mainstream media," he declared. "It provides visibility for A-League teams, which has to be a good thing.”

Tickets start at $39, with family passes from $99.

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4 min read
Published 13 July 2016 at 5:02pm
By Dave Lewis