Marketing & match ticketing policy


#1

I have been taking my step son to matches since he was 14, he’s now 18. His Grandad was a Walsall player and he identifies as a Walsall fan. In the summer he took himself to the club shop one afternoon and bought our away top.

Recently he has been going up the Blues with his mates when we aren’t playing at home. Yesterday he went to the Blues instead of Walsall. The reason? He can get a 13-18 ticket for a tenner. It costs him to travel from Hall Green and £20 minimum door tax to come and watch the Saddlers, which sometimes I will pay.

I have just been having a look at the Birmingham City match day ticketing policy and its frightening how out of touch Walsall FC are. Whether its negligence or laziness I do not know, but Walsall are charging double for an 18 year old to watch a lower standard of football in a 1/3 empty stadium with no atmosphere! Not only this but the most expensive Birmingham City adult ticket yesterday was exactly the same as the upper tier at Walsall.

Are the club absolutely crazy - no of course not - they are just not bothered in the slightest. It’s not the fact that we are surrounded by big clubs that stops our growth, is the backwards policies and lack of community engagement from our backwards board of Directors.

It really hurt yesterday but how can I be upset with the lad? Go and stand with 18k fans in a great atmosphere with a group of your mates watching a higher standard of football for half the price, or more expensive travel costs to stand with 3600 in silence at Walsall. Their current offers and initiatives do not work and haven’t worked for a very long time! You know what they say about repeating the same process and hoping for different results…

Walsall FC needs to wake the ■■■■ up.


#2

The club are happy with the current ‘price point’. Thanks for your concern.


#3

As long as the rent is paid and the club continues to make a “profit” then nothing is likely to change. Bonser believes in the model and why shouldn’t he? :wink:

Last seasons groundswell of discontent seems to have died down following some nifty club PR, a change of manager and a decent start to the season.

Watching on ifollow yesterday, I couldn’t help feeling a little sad at the banks of empty seats and lack of atmosphere. Even the pot noodle lower tier looked sparsely populated compared to normal.


#4

PS Looking at the home attendance averages, we are in the company of teams that have traditionally been div4 / non league for most of their history.


#5

Perhaps we should drop the free season tickets for youngsters and give reduced prices to all under 18s…the Club do really well for the 'early bird" ticket holders but your story clearly indicates an issue which needs looking at but the Club does need some revenue from fans !


#6

The clubs clear issue is attracting new and floating fans. A free season ticket does not address this issue in the slightest.

Birmingham are in sight of the Championship Play Offs, next Saturday they are at home to Hull City. If I was to go with the lad it would cost me £15 as an adult and him £10. Walsall at home to Burton - £40 cheapest tickets.

Like my original post says nothing they are doing, as generous as it may seem from the outside, is actually working.


#7

Perhaps you can e-mail the club explaining your situation. Probably wont do anything but you never know…


#8

I agree about contacting the club. They will point to the ST incentives but as you say, that completely misses the point.

The whole walk-up/pay on the day offer at Walsall needs rethinking. The pricing and the experience are hugely prohibitive.

Less than 4,000 of us there yesterday. Despite the win it was flat as a pancake.

I used to live in that neck of the woods Funk. Most mates were Blues fans but I was never for turning. And some regularly joined us at Fellows Park because the atmosphere was better at literally half the price. Complete switch now which is frankly ridiculous.


#9

The atmosphere yesterday was really poor.
At 2-0 up, I said to the guy next to me, that there can’t be many other league clubs or grounds that would be so quiet when their side is 2 up.


#10

I’ll get my coat :smile:


#11

80% to 90% of the TV money coming into the EFL is shared between the Championship clubs. Premier league income is exponentially higher of course. Means that these clubs can subsidise ticket prices to some extent.


#12

A work mate of mine is a Burton fan, his lad has been to almost every away game this season but isn’t going to Bescot next week because he is fifteen and they are charging £18.


#13

That’s very true. However it doesn’t explain, or justify why our concessionary prices are just about the most expensive in the league for that formative age group (say 14 to 18), mentioned as examples on this thread, in the instance that they don’t want to be accompanied by an adult, i.e. go with mates or on their own.


#14

Weird to think that when I first started going (I was 14) it was £2, and then £4 to get in. Used to be able to get the train from Rugeley, a ticket, a Maccies, and a programme all for £10, or thereabouts.


#15

I remember the two quid entry as well.

The pricing has been farcical for a good few years now and is now clearly contributing to our attendance decline.

Time for a rethink Walsall FC?


#16

I had a look at the Birmingham website to take a look at their pricing structure. While the prices as stated above are very good, you really hae to go through a right rigmarole to get admission.
from the website:
St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium is a paperless ticketing venue. In order to enter the stadium, supporters will first need to register for a MatchPass card.

  1. To sign up for a MatchPass, you must first have a client reference number. If you do not have one, please click here to create it.
  2. Register for a MatchPass card by clicking here. When selecting the MatchPass option please ensure that you are assigning the membership to the correct account.
  3. The MatchPass can only be assigned once per account.
  4. Once that you are signed up, the ticket office will be notified, and your membership card will be posted out to you.

How to purchase match tickets on matchdays…

Select which ticket(s) that you require for the match and provide all individual reference numbers which can be assigned to each ticket. If a reference number has not registered for a MatchPass then the individual can do so before processing the transaction.
Once all tickets are assigned to individual members the transaction can be completed.
When you have completed your purchase for the match ticket(s) will be loaded onto your MatchPass card(s).
You will receive a confirmation email with the details of your purchase, this will include seat details for the game purchased. It is advised that you bring a copy of the email with you to the turnstile so that you will be able to locate your seat on the matchday.

How to use your MatchPass…

Please ensure that you bring the correct MatchPass card(s) with you on a matchday. If you have more than one ticket in your group booking, then ensure that everybody has bought their own individual cards.
It is advised to have a copy of your confirmation email with the seat details on when you come to the turnstile, this is to help you find your seat and can be reference for the stewards should you require their assistance.
When entering the ground please use the entrance that is stated on your confirmation email.
Present your MatchPasscard to the turnstile operative so that your card can be scanned and you will be able to enter the stadium.
Please find your seat that you have purchased and enjoy the match.

I can imagine the last minute walk up first time visitor being a bit miffed about that and just going back to the pub!


#17

This kind of thing is fairly standard for any club that has spent any time in the premiership.


#18

It’s a digital solution though. Looks similar to buying ifollow and can presumably cope with more than four customers at a time.

Our analogue solution for that last minute punter can’t and is far worse. On Saturday it would have entailed standing on a car park in freezing and wet conditions then ultimately paying more than that Blues offer. Unless you wanted to sit in the one part of the ground with a cash turnstile.

Talking of seating choice, do we now have the biggest sterile area in professional football? A whole half a pitch length plus a third of the area in the away end. Is Walsall vs Wycombe a high risk fixture? Were the family stand planning a charge at their Home Counties counterparts only to be foiled by an extra twenty yards of segregation? Given where the cameras are at our place it can often look like there’s literally nobody there. Not a great advert.


#19

The bottom line here is the clubs archaic ticketing policy has ended up with a Walsall fan going to watch another club. Now, if that has happened with a supporter, you can bet your bottom dollar it has happened with floating customers time and again - regardless of the systems in place to register elsewhere!

If the lad hadn’t of gone to Blues I would never have known as I am a Walsall fan and I never check the prices of other clubs. But if you had said to me it was cheaper for an adult to go and watch Championship football in our area than Walsall on Saturday I would have said you were crazy. Significantly cheaper, too. Never mind the 13-18 ticket structure (amongst other offers Birmingham have in place).

You need to ask yourself if you was a floating fan where would you go this Saturday? Pay £20+ to go to a League one mid table fixture with 4k in attendance with no atmosphere or head to Birmingham City who are on a 10 game unbeaten run and unusually have a decent atmosphere with 20k there for £15.

Our club either has no idea or no interest in growing. Like I have said before the gate receipts for Northampton must have been similar to Saturday, so why not throw an offer out there? People blame the population of Walsall for not going? No, its the clubs job to market the product, stay competitive and engage the community - they have been failing at all three for years. Even the return of Jorge Leitao couldn’t tempt more that 3600 - they can’t just keep doing what they are doing, surely?


#20

Maybe the club should get in touch with Oxford utd ,see how they get 8,000+ gates.I’ve always seen Oxford as a club the same size as Walsall,or slightly smaller.They’re hardly setting the world on fire in league1 are they, but they’re doing a lot better than us attendance wise.Just a thought.