Football League selects the Dons for family honour
AFC Wimbledon has once again received recognition from the Football League for the match day experience it provides for young fans and families.
The Football League Family Excellence Award is used as a benchmark for clubs in their efforts to attract the younger generation to matches and “mystery shopper” families scored Wimbledon highly after visiting the Cherry Red Records Stadium twice last season.
The visits provided an independent assessment of facilities at all 72 Football League clubs during 2012/13 and 47 clubs from across all three divisions received the award.
Football League Chairman, Greg Clarke, said: “The Football League Family Excellence Award provides clubs with a benchmark in their efforts to attract families through their gates.
“It is hugely encouraging to see so many clubs receiving the accolade, demonstrating The Football League’s commitment to securing the next generation of fans.”
With greater use of family areas, match day entertainment and family pricing initiatives, the 2012/13 season had an increased focus on making the experience itself more compelling.
The judges were particularly impressed with the efforts clubs are making to engage with families through match day entertainment, refreshment facilities and mascot activities, all ensuring they can enjoy the match in a dedicated, safe, welcoming and entertaining environment.
In particular, we’ve opened the new Family Area in the Nongshim Stand, which has been hugely successful, both in terms of season ticket holders and also fans that only come occasionally and want to sit together as a family. Since last year, we’ve made a number of improvements to encourage families to come to The Cherry Red Records Stadium and enjoy their stay. AFC Wimbledon Chief Executive, Erik Samuelson, said: “We’re delighted to have achieved the Family Excellence Award for the second year running.
We are proud to be regarded as a family club and we are determined to keep it that way.” The report made a number of helpful suggestions and we will be considering which of them can be implemented in time for next season. We scored well in all areas. This is the basis on which Family Excellence Awards are presented. “We have just received the second of our annual ‘mystery shopper’ reports from a family of fans who provided feedback on the match day experience at the club.
AFC Wimbledon scored highly in several areas with the following supporting comments:
- ‘First Visit’ and ‘Visit Us’ sections on the website aimed at making it easy for new people / families to get the best from their visit
- Very easy to buy tickets
- Helpful information about the particular game
- Lots going on outside the stadium
- Plenty of stewards
- Child orientated activities outside the ground
- Excellent programme: loved by adults and kids in the group equally
- Good store with a large varied stock and helpful staff
- Enjoyed the sausages
- AFC Wimbledon banners placed on seats in the Family Area
- Family Area well positioned (seated too)
- Haydon the Womble working hard, entertaining people, engaging with kids and making a noise to create an atmosphere
- Lots of families with young children in the family area