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Tickets, Traffic & Tumult in Scottish Football

The Scottish Cup semi-finals have been set. Now comes the whinging over ticket allocations.

Hearts have been granted a 50/50 split at Hampden for their semi-final match-up against Rangers. The Glasgow giants will be vying for their second cup of the season.

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Aberdeen, however, weren’t so “lucky,” as Dons supporters were given just 19,000 tickets—or 2,000 less than the full allocation—for their club’s semi-final against the other half of the Glasgow divide, Celtic. SFA chiefs say the decision is based on Granite City club’s track record of ticket sales at the semi-final stage in the past.

Aberdeen, which has other fish to fry at the moment, what with their search for a full-time manager ongoing, said in a statement: “The club requested the opportunity to sell up to 50 per cent of the tickets, with any unsold tickets by an agreed date being allocated to our opponents. Disappointingly, this has once again been declined based primarily on historical ticket sales at this stage of the competition.”

The Dons will face Celtic at 12.30 pm (Glasgow time) on April 20th while Hearts will take on Rangers at 3 pm the following day.

Speaking of ticket sales, local officials in Dundee continue to wrangle over the proposed new stadium for Dundee FC, which will have a maximum capacity of 12,500, or a few hundred more than their current home of Dens Park. Community opposition has focused on parking and traffic congestion issues in the area around the new stadium, located less than 1 km from Dens.

Should the proposed new ground overcome the opposition—and club leadership, including U.S.-based businessmen Tim Keyes and John Nelms, reportedly remain optimistic—it will bring to an end at least one quaint aspect of Scottish football: the close proximity of the home grounds for Dundee and local rivals Dundee United. It actually replaces a short-lived plan to have the two clubs groundshare.

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