The obvious answer would be to have more staff selling tickets,but because that would cost the club more money without selling more tickets that’s not gunna happen.Although football clubs have lots more money flowing into the game, the convenience and comfort of fans comes a long way down the list after giving players (mainly championship and premier league) ridiculous amounts of money so they can add yet another Ferrari to their collection.How much would it cost to give every fan a padded seat, or put on extra catering and ticketing facilities etc to make our matchday experience that much better, and feel as though the club acknowledges there would be no football club without us.
I shan’t repeat the points I made on the other thread but it is worth considering that these huge queues are a result of only around what I would estimate to be less than a thousand pay on the day transactions for home fans.
I’m a season ticket holder but that doesn’t stop me seeing things through the eyes of others. Undoubtedly there will have been folk who turned up yesterday for the first time in a while because they have read all about this “new Walsall”. Their day may well have consisted of half an hour stood on the car park and then watching a pretty dull game (and that’s assuming they didn’t fancy a 20 minute queue in the club shop on top of the half hour for tickets). Nothing the club can do about the match but everything else is hugely manageable.
Here’s some ideas:-
Increase matchday ticket office capacity by 25% by having collections somewhere else. The collection system is a carbboard box with envelopes in alphabetical order. No need for computer interaction so could literally be managed anywhere. I get the need for security but there are loads of potential outlets around the ground from where this could be managed well.
Make it clear within sight of the queue that there is a cash turnstile and where it is.
Create a couple more cash turnstiles. Yesterday half of the family stand was unused and the motorway end of the main stand has only a handful of folk in it. The segregation at the halfway line on days like yesterday is ridiculous. Some of the best seats in the stadium unavailable . You could still leave a block and a half at the end of that stand if you’re really worried about segregation. Importantly, folk paying cash should receive some proof of purchase to ensure they are not prejudiced in the event of a high profile all ticket game.
There’s other stuff (paying by card seems quite complicated - do we need some new kit?), other ticket outlets (the old club shop next to the ticket office is presumably empty). It shouldn’t be that difficult.
If you want to bring someone to the game it drives me mad that you have to queue then everyone has to give name address etc slows everything down I hope that this is for security because if it’s for marketing it has a negative effect as stated above no one wants to stand in a car park for half hour. If it’s to record attendance for any future big games etc then people can just retain the ticket. If it is for security and segregation then why. The police only attend certain games deemed a risk can’t we do the same and if the ticket is brought by a season ticket holder surely they could be trusted. Could there be a feed from the main screen to a smaller screen visible to the queue. You could buy in advance but as said before sometimes it is last minute and so this needs to be sorted there are so many other things going on on a Saturday afternoon this is something easy to put right that could change the experience
I got to the ground just after 3 yesterday and there was one person at the ticket office, so was hoping it had gone better than in other recent home games ala Gillingham where there were big queues at 2.50.
The Bescot Bar at half time yesterday though…dunno what went wrong there but having to wait 25 minutes for a pre-ordered and paid for pint wasn’t good. A spectacular balls up yesterday and I dread to think how much money was lost in people walking away or demanding refunds.
As a previous ST holder for most of the past 40 years, I’ve generally found the ticket office OK for collections when I’ve had to do it (and I don’t generally praise how this club treats its fans). Be interested to see how bad it is now when I deign to attend v Staney at the end of september.
Collections (I.e picking up tickets you’ve pre-ordered) are fine. Usually just five minutes. It is the pay on the day queues that we seem to be struggling with, despite our reasonably modest crowds.
I was reflecting upon what might have changed to make it seem worse this season. I think people carry cash and pay for stuff with cash far less than say five years ago. This season may well have seen a tipping point in that respect with card transactions taking up more time.
The club can’t take their non-football fans for granted. Conference and hospitality is a competitive game. You need to be good. As football fans, we have a far greater tolerance and to be fair there are around three thousand of us who would probably still turn up if we had to watch from an open end in snow having waded through chicken droppings to get in.
But there are some supporters who quite sensibly exercise their right to pick and choose and will take all of the options with what to do with their time on a Saturday, weigh them up and make a far more logical decision than some of us. And part of that logic will be whether they want to queue to get into a football match that might be thrilling or ■■■■. If it is the former then actually the half hour on the car park probably fades in significance. If the game is rubbish and you’re watching it shivering cos you got caught in a shower whilst queuing to get a ticket then you’ll be put off.
And some of the solution isn’t about the club spending more money. It is just getting things a bit more organised. The club shop has two assistants on a Saturday who between them serve one customer at a time. On a smooth transaction that is fine (one takes money and one bags up the stuff). But if a punter has an issue, a query or a problem it comes to a shuddering halt as both of them become occupied trying to help one person.
The trouble with the half time pre-ordered drinks yesterday should never arise. You know how long it takes to pour a pint. If there’s two of you on the bar and you’ve got thirty pints to prepare at one minute per pint then you need to start prepping for half time at 3:30 and not 3:44.
I don’t think this is about deliberately treating us poorly. I think it is about a degree of complacency that comes from having ran things at the Bescot for three decades and believing we’re pretty good on a matchday. There’s lots that is good but other bits that need to be reviewed and changed.
Might be wrong but I don’t think the ticket office has chip and pin, so all card payments must be accompanied by a signature. Last time I went it was a signature…if still the same, it’s no wonder it takes ages
The match day experience hasn’t changed (read improved) since the opening of the Purple Stand in 03/04.
The ticket office, turnstiles, bars, food/drinks kiosks remain largely unchanged since then, in fact you could argue that they’ve got worse.
It always surprises me that the club don’t target what could be a significant income stream, especially seen as a lot could be improved by simply organising themselves better, or throwing extra bodies behind the bar. The teenagers they employ can’t be earning much more than £40 a shift - but as ever with uncle jeff, he sees the cost of everything but the value of nothing
On Tuesday I only learnt about the cash turnstyle from a steward who seemed to be acting on his own initiative. The kiosk was a joke. One person taking orders, so a large order held everyone up , and meant about three staff standing waiting to be told to do something.No black coffee. Oh. And tiny chocolates with 25p clearly visible on the box being sold for £1. I thought that was illegal. They’re stuck further back than 03/04. Basically they’re in the 70s and 80s. Their attitude seems to be , despite the evidence of the figures , that loyalty means fans will turn up even if you consistently treat them like ■■■■.
Sorry to be pedantic Matt … but we didn’t have a Football League side in 1903-04. We failed to get re-elected to Division II in 1901 and didn’t re-appear until becoming part of Division III (North) in 1921.