England in Australia 2006-07 May 16, 2006

Ashes ticket demand 'incredible'

Cricinfo staff

James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's CEO, poses with Ashes tickets outside the MCG © Getty Images

Cricket Australia expects first-day tickets for all five Ashes Tests to sell out within hours of their release on June 1. More than 100,000 people have registered on the board's website for priority access to seats and James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, said interest for the series starting on November 23 was at an "incredible level".

"Competition will be fierce on June 1," Sutherland said. "All remaining tickets will then be made available to the general public on June 19." A Cricket Australia spokesperson said the board believed most seats to the first day would be sold on June 1 and day two onwards would be "popular". The one-day and Twenty20 matches will be available at the same time as the Tests.

"Forty-one days of exciting international cricket go on sale in two weeks and registering for the Australian Cricket Family at cricket.com.au puts you in the queue and gives you the best chance of being there," Sutherland said. Australian-based supporters have until Sunday to join the service while overseas buyers must wait until the tickets go on general release.

The cost of Test seats ranges from as low as $20 at the Gabba to $140 for top-level tickets at the MCG. Sutherland said the world record for crowd attendance at a Test could be set on Boxing Day in Melbourne. The MCG already holds the mark for the largest crowd at a Test after 90,800 people attended day two of Australia v West Indies during the 1960-61 series.

"The average price for a family of four to attend day one of a Test this summer is under $70, which we believe is exceptional value," Sutherland said. "Additionally, other than a modest increase in Sydney, general admission tickets at all Test venues are the same price or cheaper than last season." Sutherland said the Family Day initiative would continue this summer with one child able to enter free with a full-paying adult on selected days.