News 61 – Odsal Final not all ticket anymore

Each day this week, we will take a look back at the pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post and Yorkshire Evening News from the week leading up to the first ever Championship win at Odsal against Warrington in 1961.

Slow sales cause switch in big game arrangments – Yorkshire Evening Post

Leslie Tremlett reports that the Northern Rugby League Championship final between Leeds and Warrington at Odsal on Saturday, which had been fixed as an all ticket game, with a crowd limit of 80,000, is not now all ticket.

This decision was reached today because of the slowness of the sale of ground tickets of which 71,035 were available.
Only 13,000 or 14,000 of these have been sold at Odsal, Headingley, Warrington or Rugby League headquarters through the 8,965 reserved seating tickets were quickly disposed of. While payment at the turnstile will now gain admission to Odsal on Saturday, the sale of ground tickets is to be continued at the selling points and the public are urged to buy in order to facilitate entrance to the ground.

A similar step was taken last year when Wigan beat Wakefield Trinity in the championship final at Odsal where the game was arranged as an all ticket with an 80,000 crowd limit.

That crowd was obtained for the game – it was finally one of the 82,067 with £14,763, but nothing approaching it is expected on Saturday.

The fact that it is the Saturday before Whitsuntide and that people have made holiday arrangements may account for there not being a brisker sale of ground tickets.

A crowd of not more than 50,000 is anticipated for the Bradford police authorities insist on all ticket games if more than that figure are expected at Odsal.

The last time the final was played on the Saturday before Whitsuntide – when Workington defeated Warrington in 1951 at Maine Road, Manchester – the attendance was 61,618.

Players decide to stick to routine – Yorkshire Evening News

Arthur Haddock reported that the Leeds players, who had been given the choice of normal training for the big Odsal game or going away for a break, chose to carry out their training at Headingley.

Warrington, however, are varying their routine. After the usual Wilderspool training stint tomorrow, the players will finish work on Wednesday night and train again on Thursday morning.
They will then travel to Ikley, where they are to stay at the Troutbeck Hotel, and “take it easy” there until the match. “We don’t plan any training at all during our stay in Ikley,” a club official said today. “We are going to Wharfedale for a rest.”

Haddock also commented on the disappointed ticket sales. He added, “Although the semi final attendances, – 19,393 at Headingley and 23,000 at Warrington – were disappointing, it is thought that, as for the Wakefield Trinity v Wigan final at Bradford last season, the title final will attract a ‘full house.’

Leeds obviously felt the impact of the televised FA Cup Final in playing St Helens at Headingley on Saturday afternoon.
Although 20,000 tickets were on sale at the turnstiles after only 17,000 had been sold before the game, a mere 2,000 of these were bought.

But Warrington didn’t do much better for their Saturday evening game with Swinton and the receipts were actually £1,000 less than Headingley’s £4,882.

Regarding the poor Headingley gate, a Leeds spokesman said today: “We do not think that the prices had anything to do with this. If we could have persuaded St Helens to play on the Friday night, in view of the fine weather, then we are of the opinion that the extra local support would have resulted in a 30,000-35,000 crowd.”
Whether shortage of time which prevented the organising of postal applications for tickets had some retarding effect was a matter that had to be discussed, he added. PRICE NOTE: Championship Final prices are Seats 12s 6d, 8s 6d and 6s Ground 3s