An unprecedented Wimbledon-style ballot for tickets is likely to be brought in for Great Britain’s Davis Cup final against Belgium.
The Lawn Tennis Association are discussing the fairest way to allocate the 1,300 places they will officially receive for the match in Ghent from November 27-29.
Under competition rules the away team is given ten per cent of the overall total, which at the Flanders Expo is a relatively small 13,000, compared to the 27,000 who could watch France’s final against Switzerland last year at Lille’s football stadium.
‘We want to be fair to people and it may be that doing a ballot is the best way,’ said LTA chief executive Michael Downey.
‘The first priority has to be that block of blue-shirted fans who made so much noise in Glasgow.
‘We know how much support they always give the team. After that, we’re still at the planning stage but I’d suggest that the only fair way to distribute the rest of the tickets would be via a ballot.’
With Ghent so accessible, particularly by rail, demand from the UK is bound to far exceed the number of tickets available.
As in Britain, Belgian tennis has a membership system, and it appears that ticket sales at that end will be restricted to those who have signed up.
Another issue yet to be decided is whether tickets can be bought for all three days of the match, or whether those who are lucky in the ballot will only be able to go for one day, in order to give as many fans as possible the chance to go. It is believed the LTA are inclined towards the latter course of action.
LTA representatives are doing a site visit in the next few days, while tickets in Belgium are expected to go on sale on October 2.