The Western Australian government will downsize the capacity for Ed Sheeran’s tour openers at Perth Stadium in a decision which reportedly came as a surprise to Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring Company.

Sheeran last week established a new record for a single tour with 18 stadium shows booked across Australia and New Zealand, with the W.A. capital getting the first look with a pair of dates for March 2 and 3.

What should be a glorious start is said to be major frustration for the concert promoter after it was revealed the venue will be capped at 38,000 tickets due to public transport concerns, well below the expected capacity of 55,000, according to The West Australian.

Adding to the confusion: a statement on the official Perth Stadium Website at deadline claimed the venue will cater to “over 55,000 Sheeran fans”.

Perth Stadium has been a work-in-progress since December 2014 and is due to open in early 2018. When completed, the multi-purpose venue will boast a 60,000 capacity.

The move to curb the venue to a two-thirds capacity was made after the state government carried out a risk-management analysis, made in consultation with Transperth, the news title reports.

Frontier will “co-operate in every way, by putting an extra support act on, opening gates earlier or putting Ed on a bit later,” Gudinski said. “We will go out of our way and I’m sure there will be a solution.”

There’s nothing further to add at this stage, comments a spokesperson for FTC.

When Adele’s 25 tour Down Under launched at Perth’s Domain Stadium (formerly Subiaco Oval) in February, she enjoyed a 65,000-seat sell-out for what is considered the fastest sell-out and the highest-selling concert ever at the site, according to the West Australian Football Commission, which manages that venue.

As previously reported, Sheeran 2018 trek is expected to blow away Dire Straits’ all-time record for most ticket sales on a tour, which the British band set in 1986 with a 900,000 ticket monster. Approximately 1 in 15 of the entire Australian population at the time attended the Brothers In Arms tour, a feat that was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

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