Let's talk ticketing. We get all sorts of questions about 'why Chelsea in America/your Supporter Group' ticketing access is valuable.
Misconceptions about ticketing through Chelsea in America (CIA):
• CIA is just a ticketing middle man.
• It’s just as easy to get tickets using the Chelsea web site directly.
Chelsea in America is a ‘shared’ ticket portal that supports five Official Chelsea Supporters Groups: American Heartland, Carefree CA, Desert Texas, Mid Atlantic and Southeast Blues. Chelsea FC does not officially recognize Chelsea in America; CIA is our shared ticketing and banking portal to save cost and work among the five regional support groups. Your ticket order is 'officially' through your region.
As Official Supporters Groups, Platinum members (having both CIA and True Blue memberships) in each of these regional groups can access Chelsea tickets to home and away matches. These tickets are at face value and require a far lower loyalty point requirement than an individual could get on the Chelsea web site.
It is nearly impossible to get an away ticket through the Chelsea web site. For the big home matches, the number of loyalty points needed can be 1/10th the number of the requirement on the Chelsea web site. Thus, CIA is not a middle man. CIA assists the five region’s members get priority ticket access not available to the public per the Chelsea FC Supporters Group benefits and policies.
What are the advantages of using the Chelsea in America ticket system:
• Far lower loyalty point requirement for big matches: For the big matches, Chelsea institutes a loyalty point scheme. Worldwide Supporter Clubs are able to access a block of tickets for far fewer loyalty points than the public Chelsea site. Example: For the recent Newcastle away match: Chelsea web site required 100 loyalty points to buy a ticket but our Platinum supporter group members, using CIA ticket portal, needed just 10 loyalty points.
• Seat Locations: Home matches offer several options from high in the West Stand, to the East Stand family section (a child must buy a ticket) to the passionate Shed End just rows from the pitch.
YOU WILL BE SAT WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR CHAPTER so long as you select the same section of the stadium.
• Access to Away tickets and in the Chelsea away section: Away matches are super special and only Platinum clubs can access them… and for just a few loyalty points. Our tickets are right in the middle of the Chelsea away section where you will sing, swear and cheer with 1,500 to 3,000 regulars who follow Chelsea everywhere. No worry about being the only 2 Blues in a sea of Scousers or Gooners elsewhere in the grounds.
• Face Value Price: Chelsea charges face price. CIA charges face price plus a $3 processing fee to cover our PayPal and ticket portal cost. No exorbitant ticket broker, Ticketmaster or StubHub fees.
• Ticket access: Each of the five regional groups qualified for the limited Platinum level membership which provides maximum access to both home and away tickets to most matches. Gold/Silver/Bronze clubs do not get away ticket access (Gold Level may get access if the small number of away tickets are not all taken by the Platinum groups). Only 32 worldwide clubs can qualify for Platinum Level. Chelsea allots a fixed amount of tickets for the Supporters Clubs (approximately 500-800 at home and 50-250 away depending on match and allocation from host).
Excluded matches: Chelsea does not offer any Supporters Group tickets to Bournemouth away (ground is too small) and the FA Cup/Champions League Finals. For these matches, everyone must go through the public Chelsea ticket process.
How the process works:
Loyalty Points: Chelsea uses a ‘loyalty point’ system to prioritize access for ‘big matches’ when demand far outweighs supply. For loyalty point matches thru Dec 31, 5 loyalty points are required of our US members. From Jan. 1 forward, 10 loyalty points required.
Note: Loyalty points accumulate. You do not lose them as you use them. However, loyalty points reset to zero every season. If there is a ‘big match’ in August, Chelsea does revert to the previous seasons loyalty points for that match but by September It’s all new again.
‘Big matches’ are: Home or away vs Man City, Man United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool PLUS local away London derby’s such as Crystal Palace, Watford, West Ham and Fulham. Chelsea also requires loyalty points for the last home and away match regardless of opponent each year. This year they also used loyalty points for the Barcelona Champions League matches.
How do you acquire loyalty points: If you join/renew True Blue before July 26 then Chelsea gives your 5 loyalty points. If you plan to travel over after December 31, you would need to buy tickets to accumulate additional loyalty points. Yes, tickets you likely won’t be using.
We suggest finding a Carabao Cup home match (or the Community Shield if we are in it) as those matches offer 5 loyalty points with your purchase. Loyalty point allotment varies so pay attention: United you get 1 pt., Brighton you got 3 pts, a Carabao Cup home match you get 5 pts.
How the order process works:
• Chelsea accepts ticket orders from Official Supporter Clubs only from members that have True Blue membership. Each person buying a ticket must have True Blue. One ticket per membership. And the member must be cross referenced as both a region member and a True Blue member in advance of any order.
• Chelsea in America hosts the ticket portal and prepares ticket order forms, but each regional chapter is responsible for sending the ticket order on the specific date that Chelsea will accept them. You are in fact ordering via you regional group as a member of your regional group.
For Supporters Club ticket orders, Chelsea only accepts the order through an Official Chapter Contact and only accepts payment from a credit card in the club name.
• Chelsea typically requires these orders be submitted about 60 days in advance except for last minute cup matches. The ticket window for those matches might be just a day or two. Check the CIA web site well in advance for the order deadlines.
• When picking up your tickets at the Stamford Bridge handicap ticket window, you reference your regional group (American Heartland, Mid Atlantic…) not Chelsea in America.
Check the Chelsea box office schedule online as they do sometimes close for outside functions.
• Picking up your tickets at Stamford Bridge go to the box office HANDICAP window. Each person must go to Stamford Bridge and pick up their own ticket. So, a family of 3 must all go to Stamford Bridge; one person cannot pick up three tickets. This became a new policy in 2017.
• In some cases, you can pay Chelsea to DHL your tickets OR arrange for a ‘duplicate’ ticket pick up at the away site. But that is not always available. Each of these options requires advance communication between your CIA Supporter Club and Chelsea FC.
• Limitations: When the supporters club match allotment is oversubscribed, CFC issues a percentage of orders to each group. How often do we get a limited allotment? It happened a couple times this past season: Home v United and away at Liverpool, Arsenal and United.
• Prioritization: The five supporters groups have agreed to a similar policy when we get a limited number of tickets due to excess worldwide demand. Each group prioritizes their members based on continuous length of both True Blue and CIA membership (what we call Platinum membership). Yes, we have some members that have been Platinum members for many years but only been to the UK once. They do so to keep their place in the ticket queue for their next trip over. Note: The prioritization is per region, not nationwide so your placement from day one is not bad unless it is a really big match in a holiday or spring break window.
We hope this helps you understand the ticketing process background.
Being a member of Chelsea in America and your Official Supporters Group is very much a value if you are ever planning a trip to see Chelsea play this season or in the future.
We STRONGLY suggest maintaining your ‘Platinum’ membership every year to keep you place in the priority queue in case you pick a ‘big match’ with limited tickets available. If you have not yet planned a trip, we suggest establishing ‘Platinum’ membership to begin your move up the queue.
And we STRONGLY suggest joining True Blue every year by mid-July to get the five loyalty points and ensure you have Platinum status just in case you suddenly have a UK trip develop months later. CIA receives a dozen requests every winter/spring from members that did not anticipate a future trip to London and find themselves without ticket access because they didn’t join True Blue.
Membership Deadline: Chelsea closes True Blue membership each season at the end of December. Plan ahead.