Virtual ticket sale

Inverness Caley set crowd record with no fans

Caley’s virtual ticket sale proved successful (pic: SNS Group)

Scottish Championship club Inverness Caledonian Thistle have set a new record attendance – without any fans in the stadium.

The club have sold more than 7,820 virtual tickets for the closed doors match against Hearts on 26 February, helping to boost finances at a time when normal gate receipts are absent.

The Highlanders’ previous record crowd was in 2008 when 7,753 attended the 7,822-capacity Caledonian stadium for a match against Rangers.

A number of Hearts fans have bought tickets and Thistle said it is “astonished and full of gratitude” to those who have supported the initiative.

The tickets went on sale on Saturday and more than 4,700 were snapped up within 24 hours, including 1,000 in the first 90-minutes.

“It’s blown us away,” said chief executive Scot Gardiner. “From the start of the season we had looked at this as being one of our biggest games.

“Once we knew the fans couldn’t come, we had dialogue with the federation of Hearts supporters clubs and they asked if there was anything they could do to help.

“A few weeks back Marine had played Tottenham [in the FA Cup] with no fans allowed and Marine did a virtual ticket. So we took the idea from that.”

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