Special report from behind the scenes
There has been high demand for season tickets with an increase in applications from this time last year and we will this week start the process of allocating available seats.
With 2,420 season tickets sold at the current time of writing, it has been a busy time for dedicated volunteer Mike Berry (third from right in above image) and we caught up with him for an update about season tickets, including when supporters can expect to receive them ahead of 2015/16.
on the official website.Season TicketsMike, a retired accountant who oversees the season ticket applications process, also confirmed that there are still seat season tickets remaining for the Nongshim Stand. Information about how to apply is available via our
Below is a Q & A with Mike about season tickets ahead of the new campaign:
Can you start please Mike by giving us more detail about the demand for season tickets since the end of 2014/15?
In the Paul Strank Stand we have had a 98 per cent renewal from existing ST holders, which is fantastic. It is a popular stand and fans renew season after season. The Nongshim Stand has grown in popularity with fans realising that buying season tickets for this stand is the best way to guarantee a seat for every match. In particular, the family area in the Nongshim Stand has proven to be very popular. We still have availability in the Chemflow End and the Your Golf Travel terrace and season tickets for these areas are available at the same prices as last season.
We currently have season tickets available for seats in the first few rows of the Nongshim Stand. It is worth pointing out that supporters have in the past taken a seat that hasn’t been quite what they wanted and then moved in future seasons to other areas of the ground. In June last year, we had sold around 2,300 season tickets, but now we have had 2,420 applications.
When will seats be allocated and when can supporters expect to receive season tickets?
We will start allocating seats this week. We will start contacting supporters who have requested a move and new applicants will be advised about the allocation of seats. This process will take place during the next couple of weeks. We are aiming to send out the season ticket packs in the week commencing 27 July. This should mean that supporters will receive them around a week before the first home game against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, 8 August.
Can you please sum up the time and effort that goes into allocating season tickets?
I now put in around 200 hours over three months after the season has ended. This has lessened with extra office staff coming in last year. The process started at the end of March with renewal packs sent out and existing season ticket holders given a deadline of the last home of the season to reapply. I started processing the payments two weeks after the end of last season and that has continued up until now. We have to process all the payments (either by cheque or online). Online payments have proven to be very popular this summer with more supporters choosing to pay this way.
Thankfully, around a dozen volunteers come in every summer to put together season ticket booklets so that they are ready to be sent out. They accumulate all the inserts and get all the season tickets in envelopes so that they are ready to be sent out to supporters. Due to the numbers, it will be a three-day job for this process.
What are the biggest challenges for allocating season tickets?
As well as attempting to fit in new applicants into areas they have requested, we also have to take into consideration those existing season ticket holders who want to move to another seat. Some supporters also request moves to be next to family or friends and this is when the process becomes a little tricky! I am currently in the process of contacting these supporters and new applicants to ask if the seats we are offering them are okay.
One of my main tasks is auditing the season ticket orders during three months. I have to check accurately that season seat allocations are correct. The last thing we want is two fans turning up on 8 August and they have been allocated the same seat!
What is your advice for supporters still thinking of applying for a season ticket, in particular for a guaranteed seat?
As stated previously, we have availability in the Nongshim Stand. However, demand is high so I would recommend supporters getting in quick if they wish to guarantee a place. A season ticket will guarantee a place for the big games and it proved to be very useful for those wanting tickets for the Liverpool FA Cup game last season. There are also substantial savings to be made from getting a season ticket, rather than just ordering tickets individually.
The process of allocating seats and auditing season tickets can get hectic, but I still enjoy the task. I get quite a kick out of the fact that people I know continue to support the club. Their affinity with the club continues, despite us moving up the leagues, and the club evolving into something a bit different from years gone by.