The big race in Prague! Prices for flights to the Europa Conference League final rocket, with the cheapest direct already costing £1,100, as West Ham fans face a rush for just 4,890 tickets – and a security nightmare for organizers
- West Ham have just 4,890 places for the Europa Conference League final in June
- The match is played at the Eden Arena in Prague, which has a capacity of 19,370
- The FA and Metropolitan Police had previously raised concerns about ticketless fans
West Ham fans will be deeply disappointed by the 4,890 seats allocated to the team for the Europa Conference League final – and getting to Prague will be even more difficult now that travel prices have skyrocketed.
As the flagship event on June 7 takes place at the Eden Arena in Prague, the eyes of the world will be on the capital of Czechia.
But the stadium has a capacity of 19,370, less than a third the size of the London Stadium, West Ham’s home in Stratford.
UEFA initially reserved 8,500 tickets for the public and reserved 4,300 for sponsors and national associations. This means that each team receives only 4,890 tickets for the final.
For context, West Ham have sold 55,000 season tickets for the 2022-23 season, meaning fewer than one in 11 regular home fans will be able to legitimately buy a ticket to the Hammers section.
The 19,370-capacity Eden Arena will host the Europa Conference League final on June 7.
West Ham will receive less than 5,000 tickets, despite playing at a 60,000 capacity ground
Even Fiorentina’s Stadio Artemio Franchi holds 43,147, more than double the number in attendance that day.
Many fans are still expected to travel to Prague to soak up the atmosphere of the historic city, but there are fears that fans will be ripped off by secondary ticketing sites and scammers.
Even before West Ham’s place in the final was confirmed with a 1-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar, the Metropolitan Police and the FA raised concerns about public order, particularly regarding ticketless fans .
UEFA insisted they could not change venues as the game was given to Prague last year after a year-long bidding process. However, they accepted their mistake and vowed to put next year’s final in a stadium with a minimum capacity of 30,000.
The Met would be responsible for policing the traveling fans as West Ham are a London club. The Football Police Unit takes charge of away games involving the English national team, but their responsibilities are transferred to local divisions for club matters.
Another complication is that there are less than three weeks until the final, so preparation time is limited, either to support on the pitch in Prague or to provide more opportunities for fans in East London.
The Metropolitan Police and the FA have previously raised concerns over low ticket numbers
The Hammers were planning to create a fan zone outside their home at the London Stadium
MailSport previously revealed that West Ham are considering turning an area of Olympic Park surrounding the club’s stadium into a fan zone for fans to gather and enjoy the final in June.
But the game against Fiorentina is West Ham’s first European final in 47 years, and it won’t be an opportunity that many Hammers fans will pass up if they can.
As previously reported, the cheapest ticket for the June 7 final will cost just £22.11, with the most expensive to set fans back at £110.56.
However, black market fans will likely expect to pay a lot more than that – with no guarantee that their tickets are genuine.