Fans will be aware that a few weeks ago we launched a major survey of our supporters’ views to help us plan ticket pricing for next season.
We have had a fantastic response so far, with well over 650 Grecians having completed the survey already. This is a pretty high response for surveys of this type. A pool of this size gives about a 3.5% margin of error and therefore the survey results can be treated with a high degree of confidence. We’re grateful for the time you’ve put into it.
It will be open for further responses until the New Year, but has already been invaluable to preliminary discussions about deciding our ticket pricing structures for next season.
Whilst not wishing to influence too much the thoughts of those who have not yet responded but may still wish to, there has been interest in the themes emerging, so we thought it right to share some insights into the numbers so far. As well as gathering useful statistical data, we also encouraged supporters to give their written feedback throughout the survey. We have received a substantial number of well-considered and thoughtful comments, which will be fully reviewed and analysed in due course. However this initial progress report will focus on the statistical data that we have gathered so far.
Of those who have responded there has been a great mix of age ranges, including some from our youngest supporters. In all over 50 responses have been made by under-18s and around a hundred (or more) in each of the adult groups. That’s encouraging evidence that fans of all ages care about being engaged with the Club.
Just over half of respondents stand on the Big Bank, a quarter of them sit in the WTS Stand and a fifth are in the Stagecoach stand. Further, Season Ticket holders are also responding in proportion to our core matchday attendance which, again, reassures us that the survey is reflecting your views accurately.
Over 420 of those who have submitted the form say that they’re a member of one or more groups, of which 91% are Trust members.
The reasons fans give for purchasing season tickets are not surprising. Most important is the very substantial savings they make, followed by ensuring they get tickets for cup games and retaining their usual seat (the 24% who said the latter was not important are presumably mostly on the Big Bank...)
Turning to the information that feeds directly into ticketing, it’s no surprise that prices are important to those who responded, not least because pricing is the only one of the listed factors that can managed from the club offices (ie. we can’t control weather, whether their friends are coming, how important the fixture is, etc). Only 30% of those who’ve responded so far don’t say prices are a major factor in their attendance, and 45% say they are very important. Nearly a quarter of you also report that whether friends and family are coming and kick off time are important to you – the lower crowds for evening games are testament to that.
Three quarters of responses so far prefer season tickets to just cover the 23 league games, but a quarter would be interested in enhanced packages, suggesting this is something we should consider for the future.
Pricing of tickets for junior fans is perhaps the most difficult task. Getting younger fans hooked on the SJP experience clearly has long term benefits, but segmenting this market (awful jargon, but you know what we mean) is difficult. Just over a quarter of respondents would like them to be cheaper, but a clear majority think we have this about right. We are also currently working on refining the age categories, though we are conscious that there would be winners and losers in any change there. There is also strong support for continuing and perhaps extending regular targeted discounts to students.
Similarly, in relation to the discount for seniors, about a third of respondents would like us to revert to a cut-off point at 60, but a clear majority support the gradual change to over 65, in common with about three quarters of the other L2 clubs; some even want to go to 65 immediately.
There is strong support for continuing or increasing discounts for advance purchase – less than 20% don’t favour this and most want to know the breakdown of charges for administration and posting advance tickets.
Finally, most think we have the balance of prices between the three areas of the ground broadly right, though there are significant minorities that would prefer narrower differentials between the stands and a wider range of price categories for special groups such as families and the unwaged.
This is all incredibly useful to us in trying to get ticket pricing right for the future. Keep the responses coming, please. It’s clear that with so many different opinions from so many fans it will be impossible to make everyone happy – however we hope to satisfy as many supporters as we can.
It’s a difficult balance between setting prices to get as many fans as possible to come and watch City, and securing the optimum revenue that will allow us to put the best team on the pitch that we possibly can. All we can say is that we are listening, and will do all we can to get the best outcome for everyone.