Man, I’ve woken up thinking it’s a Friday, not a Thursday. I had a picture of a goat ready and everything. What a shame.
Anyway, big news so far this morning is my mobile phone provider cut me off. The absolute buggers. Still, it’s ok, I can write way quicker at a desk than on a bus.
One of the main stories this morning centres around ACTUAL attendance figures. I think it was pretty clear last season that Arsenal weren’t always filling their pretty stadium.
TICKETS WERE SOLD
For sure, they were. But the gaps around the ground are pretty apparent.
Here are the stats from A is for Arsenal.
* on average the actual attendance was 5,998 lower than that stated by the Club
* on average 6,550 seats were empty per game
* the worst attended match was Fenerbahce at 44,779, which was 15,559 lower than capacity and 11,492 below the official attendance
* the best attended game was Liverpool in the league at 57,341
* the real average attendance was 53,788 compared to 59,786 announced by the Club
* a total of 173,945 seats went unoccupied at home games last season
Some pretty alarming numbers there. If everyone bought a £8 salt beef bagel, which is entirely possible, that’d be an extra £1.3m. Ok, I know that we don’t get the catering figures. Where exactly do Arsenal make money in the stadium?
I missed about 3 games last year, I think? One was because I forgot my ticket. If everyone missed three games over a 29 game period, we’d have actually had more missing seats at 181,014. I guess when you put it like that, it’s not inconceivable that we’re in the situation we’re in.
Things Arsenal need to do…
Build an app through the magic of technology that allows you to share your ticket with other app holders, or allows you to sell you ticket back to the club at short notice.
Get this… you gain entry into the stadium in exactly the same way you gain entry to a plane with ticket systems like the one you have on an iPhone.
This, for me, solves it all.
I also think the idea of fuelling this ticketing idea works by giving people home credits for attending games. People bloody love rewards schemes. Arsenal should make this app the hub of all their digital activity. Retail outlets are gamifying their purchasing experience, maybe Arsenal could do something similar? Think of all the data they could accrue… imagine being able to buy your food in the stadium through NFC… no more massive cues because the guys at the tills can’t count. Imagine getting replays to your phone in the ground. Imagine being able to watch the highlights on your way home in your exclusive season ticket app. IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES IF ARSENAL HAD AN INTEGRATED DIGITAL APPROACH TO ECOMMERCE, TICKETING, MEDIA AND ALL THE OTHER STUFF.
Next level shiz, right there…
It’s clear there are probably a lot of people who just buy up the tickets so they have them for the big games with clients. This isn’t on. Arsenal need to weed out the people who buy tickets and don’t use them. There should be a clause that if you don’t use your ticket, you lose it. Bit draconian, but come on, this is a club that needs people in the ground… because the waiting list is so long.
Still, it has to be said, having a season ticket is not only expensive, it’s also a massive time drain. You simply can’t make all the games during the season. The problem is that when you can’t make the games, the club don’t give fans the tools to distribute their tickets properly. I sorted my pals ticket last season, the next game, I forgot mine in the flap to make sure I had his. It’s such a ball ache shifting someone else’s ticket, then there’s the added pain in the arse of potentially getting nicked selling it on… there has to be another way.
When firms like Viagogo are cool to sell third party tickets at horrendous markups, why can’t fans or clubs build a system that takes care of it. I’d rather give my seat back to the club knowing someone else could get it on the day.
Something for Arsenal to work on I guess… ultimately, if there were cheap last minute tickets on the door, the club could indoctrinate young fans into the Arsenal way (I’ve been watching Jesus Camp).
I’d jump into the affordability thing… but for me, it’s not about affordability, it’s about the convenience of shifting your ticket. If you can’t afford to go, don’t buy one.
Finally, before I go (I’m totally ignoring the Mbia stories), take a watch of this hilarious advert from Fox about too much sport killing marriages. I love American sport advertising.