Football fans are flocking to buy tickets for the rare visit of two English Premier League teams in July.
As of 5pm today 13,000 tickets had been snapped up on the first day of pre-sales for the July 26 double-header in Wellington.
West Ham United will take on Sydney FC at 2pm at Westpac Stadium, with Newcastle United then playing the Wellington Phoenix at 4.30pm.
A total of more than 6000 tickets have been sold for the other two match days in Dunedin and Auckland.
Newcastle will play Sydney at Forsyth Barr Stadium on July 22, while West Ham will tackle the Phoenix at Eden Park on July 23.
Pre-sales for the Wellington and Auckland games opened today and will continue until Sunday, with public sales opening on Monday.
Dunedin public sales start on Wednesday.
Phoenix general manager David Dome was optimistic that the 34,500 Westpac Stadium would sell out.
"Interest from local fans and around the world has been very encouraging but you never know until you actually go on sale," Dome said.
"Anecdotally we have been told of 2000 from the Australian Newcastle supporters group who are making the trip to support their team," he said.
"Similar numbers, if not more, are expected from OzHammers and a number of other Australian-based West Ham supporter groups."
Capital Football chief executive Richard Reid said men's club games on July 26 would be postponed "to give every member of the football community the chance to be part of what promises to be an amazing event".
College Sport Wellington executive director John Hornal said he would support requests from schools seeking to reschedule fixtures.
"Given the college kickoff times, all those who want to see the EPL teams play should be able to be accommodated."
- The Dominion Post
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