Preparations continue at Exeter City for the start of the new Sky Bet EFL 2020/21 League Two season on Saturday, September 12.
Our first game at St James Park will be against Port Vale on September 19 and all matches will be initially be played behind closed doors, without spectators in attendance.
It is currently anticipated that the first fans will be able to return in October in line with current government advice and we are working towards this at the club. The most recent advice is that clubs will only be able to operate at around 20-25 per cent capacity, advice which continues to be updated and revised. We are developing our plans to admit this number of people safely to the ground, with priority booking given to season ticket holders, who won't be affected by the price increase.
Opening the gates to this limited numbers of fans means that our income will be dramatically reduced, yet our costs will have in most cases remained the same, and in some instances increased, as we put in the necessary measures required to operate safely on match day.
To negate the impact of this, the club has reviewed its ticket pricing and will be increasing its ticket prices by £2 for adults, seniors and students, with a £1 increase to under-18 prices. Due to the limitation on our capacity and adapting our stadium to be Covid-compliant, all tickets will have to be via advance purchase - details to follow in due course.
A spokesman for the Club and Trust boards said: "As with clubs across the country, our finances have been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. At Exeter City we have looked at where we can make savings, reduce expenditure or increase income during these most extraordinary times. We have made changes to our staffing structure and tightened up where budgets were already extremely tight.
"Our fans have already been amazing, donating refunds and ticket costs to support the club they love. We know how hard people’s lives have been hit by the pandemic and hope that they understand that this small increase to their ticket price, could, in fact, make a big difference to the club’s finances, making us more sustainable and helping us to embrace the challenge which faces us."