Ashton aims for 28,000 Portman Road crowds

Ipswich Town chief executive Mark Ashton

Mark Ashton, buoyed by early season ticket sales - Credit: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton has said he sees no reason the Football Club can't reach an average attendance at Portman Road of 28,000 fans.

Buoyed by positive early season ticket sale figures, Ashton was speaking at the third Fans' Forum on Tuesday night as he, manager Kieran McKenna and director of performance, Andy Rolls, took to the stage to speak to more than 140 supporters in the Sir Bobby Robson Suite, at Portman Road.

Town fans at head of the game.

So much going on at Portman Road, on and off the pitch. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Season ticket prices were announced last Friday and are on sale, with prices frozen. The uptake has already been extremely good, with Ashton especially thrilled at the amount of new season ticket holders coming on board.

"We're just 36 hours into those season ticket sales and we've sold over 2,000," Ashton said.

"And what's really interesting is that within the 2,000 we have sold in a day and a half, 41% are new season ticket sales. That bodes very, very well. There is lots to do. It is exciting times for your football club."

Such a large percentage of new sales is a huge boost to Ashton and all at the Club, with attendance figures continuing to impress, as McKenna's brand and style of football, as well as plenty going on off the pitch, bringing more fans back to Portman Road.

This Saturday, the Blues entertain Cambridge United in a League One clash, as Town look to keep up their play-off hopes.

"We're already at 22,000 plus for Cambridge," Ashton said.

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"This is top, top Championship attendances we are getting at Portman Road. We want more. I think we can genuinely get to something like a 28,000 average."

Celebrating Town fans.

Ipswich fans are enjoying Kieran McKenna's brand of football. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ashton knows that all the work that is going on at Portman Road, on and off the pitch, needs to have the fans' support running alongside.

McKenna's contribution as manager since he took over has been immense, with the team on the pitch putting together an unbeaten run that, while may end up being too late for a play-off place, is putting exciting markers down for next season.

"We've got a responsibility at this Football Club to inspire a generation," Ashton added.

"The lack of community work that has gone on for a decade in Ipswich, has seen Norwich and other football clubs come onto our patch and dominate. We have a responsibility to push back and engage with the next generation of fans.

"We have an absolute moment in time here to come together and rebuild your special football club and take it back to where it belongs."