Lazio’s Stadio Olimpico has a capacity of over 70,000, yet their average attendance is less than half that figure.
That’s for Serie A, for the Europa League it’s around half the figure again. Therefore, with 9,000 Celtic supporters expected to be in the stadium on Thursday, there’s a reasonable chance of the home crowd being out outnumbered by those following Neil Lennon’s side.
Lazio’s partial stadium ban isn’t thought to be a major factor, with there being plenty of seats available elsewhere.
Being outnumbered, even by a club known to take as many fans as Celtic, is clearly an embarrassment.
Tickets remain for sale in most areas of the stadium, and will be so until 6.55pm local time on Thursday. They’re being sold online, by telephone, at the stadium, and at numerous outlets throughout the Rome area.
Lazio have a warning for Celtic fans who may be tempted to buy tickets in the home sector, although it’s not exactly something to fear too much: ‘All Celtic FC supporters are reminded that the sale of the away sector (Curva Sud) is carried out only in Scotland through the Scottish club. Therefore, it will not be possible to buy admission tickets for the guest sector in Rome.
‘Any fans who buy tickets in sectors other than the Curva Sud or Monte Mario may, for security reasons, be transferred by the police to another sector dedicated to them.’
Tickets are as cheap as €10 and Lazio have been running an initiative which means for each full paying adult, a free ticket for a fan U14 is available.
Marco Canigiani, the Italian club’s marketing director, is quoted by La Lazio Solo as saying: “For the match on Thursday we’ve sold more than 14,000 tickets, but most of these will go to Celtic. We expect growth in sales for the Lazio section.
“Thursday will be an important match in terms of qualification, it will be necessary to support the team… we hope to be in the majority at the Olimpico considering there will be around 9,000 fans visiting from Scotland.”