THE Newcastle Jets will be playing for the A-League Championship on their home turf at McDonald Jones Stadium next Saturday night.
In a first for the A-League, the decider will be held outside of a metropolitan city after minor premiers Sydney FC went down to Melbourne Victory 3-2 in extra time on Saturday night.
The Sky Blues’ loss, means that the second-placed Jets will host the finale after they beat Melbourne City 2-1 on Friday night.
Tickets for the grand final go on sale at 10am Sunday for members but there are restrictions with regards to the allocation of seats.
The general public will be able to buy tickets from Tuesday.
Tickets are available from Ticketmaster. Due to the short turnaround and the need for extra away bays and other differences in allocated seating, Jets members may not be able to purchase their normal seat.
More than 15,000 Novocastrians travelled down the F3 freeway to be among the 36,354 on hand at Allianz Stadium in 2008 to witness the Jets beat the Central Coast 1-0 to claim the club’s lone championship.
A crowd of 19,131 watched the Jets beat City on Friday. The record for an A-League game in Newcastle is 24,338 for the Jets 2-0 win over Sydney FC in the minor semi-final in 2007.
That record is certain to be broken next Saturday. Victory supporters normally travel in their thousands and should ensure the full house sign goes up at the 32,000 capacity stadium.
Victory will be without two of their coaching staff after former Jets assistant Jean Paul De Marigny and goalkeeping coach Dean Dean Anastasiadis were given red cards for their involvement in an on-field exchange with Sydney player David Carney.
Of more concern to Victory will be a leg injury to Socceroo James Troisi in the second half against Sydney. Defender Rhys Williams was a late withdrawal from the semi with a calf injury.
A number of other players suffered knocks, plus they played 30 minutes of extra time and have a day less to prepare than the Jets.
Adding more drama to the grand final, Jets coach Ernie Merrick led Melbourne Victory to two championships.