Fremantle are within 2000 members of only the second season sell-out in their history, helping to offset the loss of a major sponsor but again highlighting the need for a new major stadium in Perth.

As of yesterday, the Dockers had sold just under 37,000 reserved seat memberships to all 11 home games this season.

With 3000 of Patersons Stadium’s 42,500 seats held over for sale on a game-by-game basis, and about 1000 tickets set aside for community and corporate needs, the sell-out number for the Dockers is around 38,500 – a figure the club reached in 2007 after reaching a preliminary final in 2006.

West Coast have already sold out despite the club’s poor 2010 season, with 98 per cent of members buying tickets again and about 8000 people on a waiting list.

If the Dockers follow suit, West Australians will be faced with less access to their major sporting venue than at any point in history.

From a financial perspective, the membership sales are timely.

The club needs a new diamond level backer after coach sponsor Marine and Civil Construction Pty Ltd was placed under voluntary administration last year.

Diamond level sponsors put in up to $500,000 a year and the deal with Marine and Civil was due to run for two more years.

The club has filed a claim with the firm’s administrators for $497,750, owed mainly from 2010.

Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich stressed there was no bad blood between the club and Marine and Civil.

He was confident the club would secure a replacement sponsor and that the issue would not affect the 2011 budget.

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