NI Rangers fans face scramble for tickets, flights and hotels ahead of Europa League final

Rangers fans across Northern Ireland were on Friday facing a scramble for tickets, flights and hotels for the Europa League final.

hey will play German side Eintracht Frankfurt in the final in Seville on May 18.

But supporters face a battle to secure tickets for the game at the 40,000-capacity Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

The two finalists will receive just 10,000 tickets each – Rangers have around 45,000 season ticket holders – meaning many are set to miss out.

But other big problems facing fans include a lack of accommodation and flights.

Almost all hotel rooms in the city, in the Andalusian region of Spain, for the night of the final have already been snapped up.

Those that are still available are priced at hundreds of pounds – well above the normal rates.

Today the cheapest accommodation available on the comparison site was a bed in an eight-bed dormitory, costing £193. The same venue, a week later, was charging just £13 a night. The next cheapest option was £219.

An apartment for the same night was priced at an eye-watering £2,163.

Most available hotel rooms were running at between £600 and £800 for the night.

Getting to Seville will likely be another challenge.

There are no direct flights from Belfast, leaving fans facing a circuitous and costly route to get there.

A return flight leaving Belfast City Airport the day before the final and returning the day after was this morning priced at £1,112 – both legs included stop-offs in London and Madrid.

It may mean many supporters will fly from Dublin in what may be a more cost-effective and convenient option.

A flight out the day before the game, stopping in Barcelona, ​​returning direct to Dublin on May 19 was available at £512 this morning.

This will be Rangers’ first European final since 2008, when they lost to Russian side Zenit St Petersburg in the Uefa Cup final in Manchester. It is estimated that 200,000 Rangers fans made the trip – most without tickets. They lost 2-0 to Zenit.

In 2003 Celtic qualified for the Uefa Cup final, also in Seville, with 80,000 of their fans estimated to have travelled. Celtic, who were then managed by Martin O’Neill, lost the game 3-2 to Jose Mourinho’s FC Porto.

Rangers qualified for the final with a 3-1 win on Thursday night, overturning a 1-0 loss in the first leg.

Early goals from James Tavernier and Glen Kamara put Rangers in control before Christopher Nkunku pulled one back for Leipzig, levelling the tie, in the second half. However, a late third from John Lundstram secured a 3-2 win on aggregate in front of a packed Ibrox.

Rangers’ unlikely road to the final began in the play-off round after dropping out of the Champions League qualifiers. After squeezing out of their group, they have now defeated Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Braga and Leipzig in the knockout stages.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst told BT Sport: “It’s very hard to find the words. It’s been an amazing night.

We said before the game we’d do everything possible. The players were fantastic. You can’t write a script better than this. We’re all very proud.”

Lundstram told BT Sport: “We’ve been through so many ups and downs this season but to come through it and reach a Europa League final – wow.

“It’s my best night by a country mile. Playing in the Premier League was a massive achievement, but to get to a European final (is incredible).”

Eintracht Frankfurt beat West Ham 1-0 in the other semi-final, securing a 3-1 aggregate win, and preventing an all-British final.

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