Saints Need To Re Engage With The Fans With Season Ticket Reductions
Tuesday, 15th May 2018 13:19
This season Saints supporters have had to endure some awful times at St Mary's leading to many fans talking about not renewing season tickets, Saints need to be pro active in keeping these fans before it is too late.
It cannot be denied that there weren't that many great games at St Mary's last season, our record of 4 home wins was second only to West Brom in the Premier League in lowest number, only Swansea and Stoke lost more and in terms of points gained again only West Brom had a lower total than us.
Add to that a growing disenchantment with the commercialism of Premier League football in this country and you have recipe for gates to drop.
Although our average remained high for the season clearly even the games that were nearly sold out were far off capacity judging by the empty seats meaning that either season ticket holders were not bothering turning up which although not widespread was certainly far higher than any other year or the tickets the club were giving away were not being used.
Certainly many seats in the Itchen/Chapel corner were usually empty for all but the biggest games, yet they were shown as sold prior to the game on the online system.
Perhaps Saints will point to the fact that prices have been frozen for the past four seasons, but that doesn't make them cheap, they were artificially high due to our former Chairman hiking prices up when we got to the Premier League.
Now it is time for Saints to re engage with the fans and showing them that they value the support, last season prices were lowered in some categories mainly in the family centre.
Whilst it is understandable and indeed very good that the club is encouraging another generation they should also remember that the bulk of the fanbase is between 22-65 and is paying full whack.
It is this demographic hardcore that forms the bulk of the away support, it is this core that stays loyal and turns up week in week out, it is this core that suffers the most yet never gets rewarded, now is the time for the club to do so.
Unless it wants to see a big decline in season ticket sales after two seasons lacking in excitement & entertainment , not to mention passion and commitment at times from those on the pitch, then the club needs to look at it's pricing structure now.
If it comes out and keeps prices the same I see a big drop in renewals happening, I won't even mention increases as I'm sure that no one at St Mary's is even daft enough to consider that route.
What is needed is a reduction and a decent one at that, if you are lucky enough to take your kid to a game then you could buy an adult season ticket for the season just gone for £541, so why is it OK to charge another adult £570 just because he can't take a kid to the game.
This should be the very minimum Saints should consider a £40 reduction, but in truth it should be at least 10 %.
That would make the price in the wings or behind the goal for an adult season ticket £513 or £27 a game that is a good price to pay for a ticket.
But those in the centre stands should also have a discount, this season the person sat to my left paid £682 (£35.90 a game), but the man on my right paid £737 (£38.80) just because he sat the other side of the aisle.
These are the areas where the prices really need looking at and reducing, I am not just saying that because i', sat there, but around me are people who have had the same seat for the past 17 years, a real hardcore who were absolutely ripped off by the unfair increases a few years ago that added almost £150 to their season ticket at the time.
If the club have 15,000 adult season ticket holders and they reduced the ticket price by 10% perhaps an average of around £60 across all areas then it would cost them £900,000 not even 1% in the grand scheme of Premier league income.
But the good will they would receive would help to bring back a feel good factor after the joys of our unlikely survival this week.
But it does not just make sense in terms of good will, it also makes sense financially, a season ticket holder is worth far more to the club over a season in terms of spend, not just directly in tickets and merchandising, but also in the fact that he is seen by friends and family as a loyal supporter and they are likely to spend money on him in Saints themed stuff for birthdays or Xmas etc.
I suspect that Saints already have the prices set out and are just waiting for the fuss to die down so they can announce the prices, if they want to burst the bubble after the events of the last week then do nothing with the prices, but if they want to show the fans that they listen and care, then it needs a gesture and this is the ideal one !
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