Season Tickets Slashed For Next Generation

WE’VE done our bit – now you do yours! That’s the message from Steve Gibson as Boro unveiled an attractive new season ticket price structure that has slashed the cost of going to the game for the crucial next generation of young supporters.
In a radical – and much needed – development the club have chopped back matchday costs in these crucial areas to pocket money prices: for under 18s it will tumble by up to 75% to a juicy £5 a game, competing favourably with an afternoon mooching around MacDonalds, while ST cards for 18-21 year-olds have been reduced to just £195 in the North West and South West corners – down from £300 this year – making that an affordable tenner a game.


Prices for adults have been frozen for the fourth year running, which will spark the complex annual argument between whether given inflation it constitutes a cut in real terms or whether, given the pressures of the rising prices of bills for utilities, council tax, food and petrol it still constitutes an over-priced luxury hobby.
But for existing adult card holders there is a three year deal on offer with prices frozen and a swanky personalised plaque on your seat, surely set to become the new cultural battleground, either prized as the new status symbol of the unconditional pre-emptive loyalist or derided as the mark of the uber-fan, a ra-ra badge of distinction to be polished lovingly with a foam hand.
This may fall short of the housing market style “readjustment” that many believe is needed to stop the steady drift from terraces to pub, or the symbolic major cut needed to spark a return to the heady days of full houses. In truth the real engine for that seismic shift in the prevailing mood will only come from success on the pitch or a real “spectacular” signing.
There will be some consumer resistance and talk of how far bigger cuts were needed, especially targeted in those area most prone to red seat rashing in low profile games – the pricier seats of the East End Upper and the main stand corners (both being addressed instead with concessions for the younger fans) – or calls to include cup games for free (an unknown factor) or a guarantee to mirror any one-offs with a retrospective discount for card holders.
The money is certainly there in the game with the new TV deals to fund more creative structures. The issues that prompted tabloid newspapers, government ministers and football bigwigs to call for price cuts at the start of this season have not gone away, indeed, given the changing dynamics in the domestic economy the problems are actually sharper.
But, whatever the quibbling, there can be no doubt that the reductions at the bottom end are an unprecedented (if belated) recognition of one of the key problems facing the game. We have talked at length on here about the changing demographics of the crowd, older by the year. Rising prices and the season ticket sell out (remember that?) helped lock out an entire generation of fans, the noisy, cocky passionate teenagers that we once were who make such a contribution to the atmosphere.
The cuts for kids – “Today’s Football, Yesterday’s Prices, Tomorrow’s Fans” in PR speak – are to be welcomed as a way of countering that drift to tartan blanket Meldrewism. The new prices can be a vital bridge for getting a generation in danger of being frozen out back into the ground and hooked on the narcotic appeal of this emotionally testing club of ours … and more so, the club will think, if the younger ones bring their full price paying parents with them. It is another significant step forward in the club’s newed relationship with supporters.
Now, after making the major political moves to tackle one of the trickiest area of prohibitive pricing, Gibson is calling on fans to back the club’s ambitions with bums on seats, an annual rallying cry but one this time backed by concrete concessions that are hard to argue with.
The chairman believes Gareth Southgate is building a squad capable of competing at the highest level and promises to back him by signing “the best global talentâ€?. He insists the people of Teesside should be proud of a club that is the ambitious flagship of the town.
“The groundwork is in place for the team and the club to really go forward next season,â€? said Gibson, speaking for a DVD to be sent to existing season card holders. “We want to bring the best that we can to this club. We have a search for global talent. We want to be in a position to be able to attract the best. We’ve done that with Alves, Tuncay and others and just look what we’ve done in the past with the likes of Juninho, Ravanelli and Merson.â€?
Gibson stresses that the club is nothing without the supporters and asks for continued support through the turnstiles. “The fans are everything,â€? he said. “Without them, there’s no point in us being here. We need their vocal and financial support for all games, not just the big fixtures, and we want full houses.â€?
Asked what message he had for wavering fans considering the investment, Gibson pointed to the achievements of the Riverside era that has seen more than a decade of unbroken Premier League football, five cup finals, two European runs and the club’s first major trophy.
“Look at the last 10 years,â€? he said. “We understand we’ve had some inevitable lows but look at the tremendous highs we’ve had. Be proud of the club, get behind the club, get behind this manager – and we will do everything we can to produce a team that the town and the fans can be proud of.â€?
Boss Gareth Southgate added: “I won’t make any empty promises by predicting that we’ll achieve a top four finish or qualify for Europe next season but I can tell you that my sights are firmly set on us breaking into the top half of the table where those type of targets become achievable. Fans can be assured that we will do everything we can to further improve the squad over the close season as we continue our policy of bringing youth and pace into the side.â€?
Chief Operating Officer Neil Bausor, who has been involved in a string of focus group meetings with lapsed and current season ticket holders in a bid to identify the stumbling blocks and price triggers involved, said the cuts are “the most exciting season card initiatives in Boro historyâ€?.
Other highlights of the 2008-09 packages are:
A new Family Area in the Riverside’s East Stand Lower for 2008-09, which will be the focus of pre-match and half-time entertainment activities.
Card holders who wish to renew the same seat can do so online.
An exclusive three-year season card, offering fans a personalised aluminium plaque on their seat, free entry into a regular prize draw and a price freeze at 2007-08 prices.
A new away season ticket, giving season card holders who are regular away travellers the chance to guarantee their tickets for every league and cup away match.
***
HOMEGROWN Boro stars added their support for the new ticket prices for younger fans.
“I was a ball boy for Boro and I know how much kids get out of seeing the top players close up,” said Stewart Downing. “If kids start supporting Boro when they’re young they build a relationship with the club and they become fans for life.
“Things have changed over the last couple of years, with us getting to the UEFA Cup final and our other cup runs, and you see more kids in the street wearing Boro colours. We’re just a couple of players away from being a very good team. If we can make the right signings I think we can make the top seven at least next season.”
Defender David Wheater said: “It’s important to get young fans in because they are the supporters of the future. They are the ones we’re going to need behind us in the long run.
“The more fans we get into the ground the louder it gets and the better the atmosphere. It makes you feel good about yourself and when the crowd at the Riverside are singing your name, it’s the best feeling you can have. One of the things that makes Boro special is we have mainly local support. Some other clubs get fans from all over the place, but when you have local fans they really feel a passion for the club.”

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47 thoughts on “Season Tickets Slashed For Next Generation

  1. so in a nutshell what are people aged 18-65 going to pay?
    **AV writes: The 18-21s get a big discount. Us old gets pay the same as.

  2. Once again the 18 – 65 year old supporter has to pay the same price. Its about time they looked at us more favourably and offered us discounts.
    You can see it happening after a few matches they start given away match tickets at reduced prices to get other supporters back and we have had to pay the true price, one season in advance.
    In fact even before the season has ended. Before long they will ask us to get the following season ticket half way through a season. What a laugh eh?

  3. I agree with the clubs decision to reduce ticket prices for young fans, however the fact that these reductions are so dramatic means that yet again adult prices remain the same. If all ticket prices were given a modest discount then surely that would benefit everyone.

  4. AV, the adults only pay the same if they cough up within the next few weeks. otherwise it goes up.
    **AV writes: That has always been the case. Early payment earns the discount. It is a flaw that means there is a major disincentive to buying a ST later in the campaign.

  5. Sounds like a good initiative to me, making a match more affordable for families and teenagers wanting to go with their mates must be a good thing.
    As for the ‘oldies’ a fourth price freeze in a row has got to be good news.
    We now have a potentially entertaining young team which if the present level of performance can be maintained will have an improved top ten finish next year. There are no excuses for not going to the match now, are there…….?
    On another issue I see O’Neil is out for a long spell, which is bad news. That said I hope GS sees it as an opportunity to play Tuncay and Aliadiere in the same team for 90 minutes.

  6. This is a really forwarding thinking move by Boro. It’s not a new idea – FC Schalke 04 of the Bundersliga have offered reduced tickets to local kids for years and have a growing fans base as result.
    It’s an obvious problem with the Premiership, tickets are too expensive for most youngsters and eventually the fan base dwindles.
    Well done Steve Gibson for leading the way again.

  7. FAO: THE HEAD OF BORO PR…
    I think this is a classic case of dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t!
    We can’t have it all ways. We want success, we want to see attractive football and we want to see ever more Samba stars.
    But I’m afraid to say that this costs money and at the end of the day SG can’t be expected to do everything on his own.
    Personally, I fully back and applaud this plan all the way and say keep it going.
    Let’s keep making more changes and let’s keep coming up with more new ideas and incentives.
    Perhaps the loyal season ticket holders can get benefits in a different way…
    1. Priority access to players signings at the club shop e.t.c?
    2. Priority / better access to refreshments at home games?
    3. Maybe the ground could have a special bar / pub for season ticket holders only?
    4. The Official web site could have massive areas of it dedicated to season ticket holders only whereby the access is free of charge and whereby it gives more interviews and news e.t.c. accessible only by season ticket holders who get a speacial password to it.
    Many Italian sites tell fans what happens in training on a daily basis. Who did what and why and so on.
    5. Season ticket holders could also get special access to this daily training whereby each season they are allowed to attend ” x ” number of training sessions where they can sit close to the action in a specially made enclosed area and then have a drink or something to eat upstairs in the caffeteria where the players go and then get autographs e.t.c.
    6. Each week the club could pick 5 fans to go into the players lounge at home games and allow them to eat the sandwiches, drink the tea and coffee, get warm and have a go at the free bar and make them feel important too and not just the players !
    They could also do the same at the reserve games instead of just allowing the usual faces in to eat all the pie and be all nice, warm and cosy…
    The list and possibilities are endless, they really are. All that’s needed is a bit of thought, a tiny amount of cash and the will power and desire to make the ever loyal Boro fan REALLY feel part of their beloved club.
    Making them stand in the driveway in the pouring rain at the training gorund waiting for the odd player to stop and sign something isn’t really the best way of doing things.
    It isn’t that hard !
    This is how a modern, forward thinking club should be, in my opinion.
    TB
    **AV writes: There are some good ideas in that list.

  8. I think a few quid off for adults would have been a nice gesture to we long suffering but it won’t have got any lapsed STs back in the ground.
    We all know that those that have walked away have gone for good. Once they are out of the habit and in the pub that’s it, barring one-offs and big cup games.
    The price is just an excuse for most of them. It is the football or the stewards or the atmosphere or wanting to be with the mates in the pub that led them to wrap in and the kind of cuts it will take to get them lot back would cripple the club financially.
    So it makes more sense for the club to target the next generation rather than go chasing the old whingers. I agree with this. Get the kids in, cheap. They are the future.

  9. We’ll get a few thousand extra kids in at £95 but we’ll lose a few thousand lifelongs at £390 and even though the club will be out of pocket it will be trumpeted as a massive success.
    MFC have missed an opportunity to really have a good crack at solving some big problems with a symbolic cut, shifting the away fans and making the south stand a new cheap seats teenage ‘kop’ and making the north stand unreserved seating.
    And the new family entertainment scares new. What more bloody mascots?

  10. What I’d give to be 16 again. I think its a great initiative and a well needed revamp of ticketing that has been needed for some years now.
    However my real problem is with the older ticket prices.
    Yes i know the older generation is sitting in the pub and whinging or watever but the main reason why I dont go is the main reason and the one and only reason – the football on show.
    We are not there to watch a movie or a play, we are there to view top quality players at the top of their game playing in the best league in the world.
    For me that hasnt been available for 5 seasons now. Yes I hear you say European football and all that, but what I’m saying is the consistant performance of the team to produce entertaining football.
    I’ve been to 10 games so far this season and seen one good one (Birmingham). I’ve been to six away games and seen quality football that I’d love to watch week in week out but it just dosnt happen so i dont go to the next game.
    You cant do that with a season ticket and going to watch displays such as, West Ham, Reading, Derby, our annual thrashing from Villa just dosnt appeal.
    For me to go back i wanted to see cheaper tickets for adults and a genuine discount for buying a season ticket so when we squeeze past Derby 1-0 but then trounce arsenal it all seems worth while.
    Its just not a big enough incentive for me to return and MFC are playing on supporters peace of mind that if they do get to Wembley etc then they will have 1st choice.
    In the broader scale yeh they might have 1st choice but Portsmouth and Cardiff will be getting 35,000 tickets each for this years FA Cup final so if I want to go then I’ll queue for a day and still get to go, season ticket or not.
    I’m 26 and I love MFC but I wont be held to ransom and I wont pay for something that I dont need.
    COME ON BORO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. David Morrison, at the age of 26 you wish you were 16 again! Think yourself lucky you can remember 16!
    TB , Some superb ideas on your post.

  12. Given that for most kids, it’s probably the parents who fork out anyway, then who is actually gaining advantage in these cuts depends entirely on how a family’s finances are organised. There is opportunity for parents/adults to benefit but it depends on how families organise themselves transactionally.
    I would expect in most cases, the parents/adults are going to be the ones who gain the financial advantage as they presumably buy their kids their season ticket. So adults DO gain in such a case.
    I doubt if the club is not going to buy child-through-adult loyalty by this means. I also doubt the reverse.
    If the parents have delegated the purchase of the tickets to the youngster and simply hand over a wad from which the youngster finds the ticket price and is free to spend the rest on whatever he/she chooses, then the excess disposable that’s now being created by the club will simply be spent by the kid on other things.
    But will the kid say “Thanks, Steve?” Unlikely. Will it buy kid loyalty through lowering prices? I don’t think so.
    The incentive MAY induce more parent/child(ren) paired attendances, admittedly.
    Overall, the club will probably get a few more through the turnstyles. Which is a good thing, but, when the kid grows up and has to cross that increased threshold into adult prices, then I wonder if the expected attendance improvement will be sustained?
    Will loyalty and ongoing commitment to attendance be sustained when the heavier prices kick in?
    There are many scenarios that could be played out – as many as there are supporters, really. But on balance, the heaviest-weighted factors in sustaining ongoing attendance will be, I believe, directly related to the ongoing “matchday experienceâ€? and whether it’s deemed to be value-for-money.
    Club loyalty counts for many, but not for everyone. Those who have drifted away from the heady peaks of the early Riverside era are testimony to that.
    The Riverside revolution was a new experience and clearly better than the latter Ayresome days. The Premier League was new – again, being part of that was a fresh experience for us all. But we’ve moved on. Things may need freshening up again.
    If the club can get that more right – making each visit to the Riverside an enjoyable and memorable experience – the chances are everyone will feel that the money (almost irrespective of how much it is) will have been well spent.
    Obviously, team performance counts – that’s a given. The better they play, the better the results, the more people will probably want to come/ come back.
    However that’s not the whole story.
    The whole matchday experience starts before people even get the stadium. And it would be more impressive if MFC executive management would take a whole, fresh new look at the whole experience across the whole spectrum of attendees and identify things that could make the whole experience more than just a treck to the stadium, a queue, particularly at half-time in heavily-crowded concourses to buy a limited range of mediocre and highly priced beer/refreshments, or have a pee, watch a match and treck back from the stadium.
    In that regard, I hope that someone at the club, in an influential position, reads Tony Black’s post – or that they have the content and the principles behind the content, relayed to them.
    Tony’s got some good ideas there and I for one, would be at least equally impressed by club efforts to look after its match-day attendees by implementing some imaginative customer value-adding features of match-day experience as I am by the season-ticket pricing inducements just announced.
    I read recently about the different standards that journalists experience traveling to different stadia around the country. The Emirates Stadium “journoâ€? experience was being lauded as a club benchmark against which to judge all others.
    If attention can be paid to journalists who presumably will view their experience favourably and that experience is subconsciously (of course) reflected in the reports that emanate from them concerning Arsenal football club, then the same psychological principles can be applied to the treatment of another influential group of people – the supporters, (whose money the club wants!).
    How about turning the whole thing on its head and instead of asking for less, actually give more?
    Perhaps that’s a bit too radical – it requires imagination, management commitment and energy!
    But, as is increasingly and repeatedly being pointed out, MFC are part of the “entertainmentâ€? business. If so, shouldn’t the club be aiming to treat the club’s supporters more like people – and just a wee bit special, because they support Boro. Isn’t that a way to build brand loyalty – (not quite, but almost) irrespective of price?

  13. AV,
    I’ve just had a look on Blackburns website and there season ticket is priced like this:
    adults: £249
    juniors:£99
    Any chance of a little comparison between ours and say clubs of our own stature?
    **AV writes: I’ll try and find a comprehensive table.

  14. For a few seasons now we have heard many people saying ‘let the kids in for a quid or a fiver, they’ll spend enough in the club shop or on the concourse!’.
    Now that the club are effectively doing this then other incentives are argued for by these same people.
    I congratulate the club for the pricing structure. As has been said it will take more than a small discount in adult prices to encourage the ‘SKY’ fans to return.
    I could afford to watch to watch the Boro when I was a young lad by saving my pocket money. Todays young fans have the opportunity to do the same.

  15. I think the ticket incentives for the younger supporters are great- I dont fall into that category but I am more than happy to pay what Steve Gibson sees fit to support the Boro!
    I also think Gary O’Neil deserves a goal instead of this 6 month lay off.
    This is now the perfect time to put Tuncay or Aliadierre out on the right and finally play a match with Downing Alves Tuncay and Alliadierre on the pitch at the same time.
    Dear Jim, Could you fix it for me to see these 4 players on the park at the same time against Bolton. Boat/Shawky and Arca in the middle and we all know the back 4.
    There may be a temptation to try and play it safe as a draw would deny Bolton the vital points they want to stay up but this is the Riverside Gareth so go for it. I’m right behind you.
    Or play defensive let Bolton get the early goal so we can focus clearly on what we have to do!

  16. The devils in the detail. For me, I’ve got two kids who would love to go but it has been a non-starter in the past because I am in the North Stand (I was an S) and to take them cost too much except some cup games.
    In the past I would have had to move to areas where the concessions were and it would have cost me too much to make the kids tickets worthwhile. Now I need to figure if it is worth me getting 2 x kids ST – which is still an extra £200 plus programmes and burgers no matter how you look at it. Plus midweeks on school nights are out too.
    What I need to know is if the same prices or anything like it will be available for kids match to match.

  17. The fans will not want to see another 9 games like the ones inbetween Sunderland at home Sept 22nd and the the win over Arsenal Dec9th no matter what price the tickets are !
    Tuncay , Arca and Mido all faced long lay offs after tackles from Sunderland’s Higginbotham. That robbed us of influential attacking players for 9 games. Who knows how the season would have panned out with those lads fit for more games?
    This is why I keep insisting on 5 strikers to chose from including Mido Tuncay and Alliadiere (but not Dong Gook obviously) . Injuries can only be accounted for if you have a squad to cover the possibility.
    Good fortune is also part of it , ask Wenger about- Van Persie , Rosicky and Eduardo!

  18. Boro still wont sell more season tickets than this season for the simple reason that people are falling out of love with the game.
    You can point your finger at Sky and their never ending sickening love in with the big 4 for this.

  19. Well sorry but i don’t wish to sound like a sour puss…But!!!! Ok fantastic news for younger fans and yes i can see why (get um when they are young ect) but what about me??
    Seven seasons on the bounce with a North stand season ticket watching average at best footie (cheers Stevie Mac), do i not deserve a little Thank You? hey i don’t want much even £50 or so off would be nice….
    Anyhow not gonna go on too much as no matter what i am gonna renew it so it don’t really matter, just wish i was 16 again ha.

  20. The new ticketing prices are to be applauded, they deliberately target the potential long term “growth” of the fan base. It sadly does nothing for the over 21’s but you can’t have everything.
    The biggest challenge ahead will be keeping the over 21’s on board mainly for two reasons.
    The first and most important one is what happens on the pitch. Entertainment and enjoyment have been very thin on the ground for several years now which is a bit of a drawback in the entertainment industry.
    The second reason (and totally outwith the control and influence of MFC) is the current global financial crisis. My mortgage, gas, electric, food and diesel costs have rocketed over the last few weeks and months to the tune of several hundred pounds a month extra to find.
    Allied to that my employer is making people redundant and no pay rise this year! In the midst of all that I am fortunate in that I can afford to adjust my budget and tighten my purse strings but there will be many hundreds if not thousands on Teesside who simply cannot.
    Consequently I will not be surprised to see rows of red plastic seats on display next season despite the new pricing deals and promise of better things to come on the pitch. Reality bites!
    And if there are repeats of Reading, Fulham, Derby etc. next season then those who are forced to make a choice because of finances may make it very quickly and with a clear conscience.

  21. From the very start when I came to the blog I said that the club should have a regular Q and A session with their client base, the fans.
    I am not the only one with good ideas, there are many people in here who have them as well and it would be both great PR and a great way of making fans feel that they really belong by getting them together in a room at the Riverside and allowing them to have their say and to deliberate over ways to improve the club.
    The club would at the very least get one or two great ideas each time that they could implement that would make a big difference.
    So much can be done and it isn’t all about money.
    This is what I mean by the club having a winning ethos and winning mentality throughout every single area of the club.
    All it needs is for people to say ” Yes, it can be done and we must and will do it “, as opposed to saying ” it won’t work ” or ” we’ve tried it all before “.
    For me this is the perfect club to do all these things as when SG’s on form he’s simply the best in the business and so we can lead the way for others to follow by having a prosperous football club that truly is for the fans and the local community.
    AV spoke before of a new model for clubs outside the “big four ” that would allow them to survive. I totally agree. So let’s do it with all the passion, enthusiasm and vigour possible.
    New ideas. New technologies. A passionate, motivated, forward thinking club that dares to dream and dares to think the unthinkable and that then has the balls to implement them.
    TB

  22. Not too bothered about 1-5 on Tony Black’s list (won’t be going to any signing sessions and training leaves me cold) but I think 6 is a cracking idea.
    There is plenty of space in the various hospitality lounges to take maybe 10-20 ST fans each game to be given the VIP treatment. It is not a bad reward for sticking in through thin and thin.
    Could be selected at random, or as prizes in competitions in programme or Gazette or by 12th Man.
    I always thought that they have your details, when you spend £xxx every year then a signed birthday card on your 18th/40th/60th isn’t going to hurt.

  23. I gave up my ST two years ago after Mac really sickened me off and I realised I was surrounded by whingers, my mates were all in the pub and I wasn’t really enjoying it. It had become a chore. And then I never got an Eindhoven ticket (but I don’t want to bring that up again).
    I could easily afford to go but I won’t until the football and the atmosphere improve. I have been six times this year and every game bar the Arsenal one has been poor and the ground a morgue.
    Cuts in ST wont solve that. I’ll come back when I think I will enjoy it.

  24. Hi AV
    Good news that the club have slashed prices for the under 18’s. That should encourage more parents to bring their children.
    I was intrigued to see that there will be an offer of a 3-year ticket at this year’s prices. However I have not seen the package and will not commit until I’ve read the small print!
    To be honest I was going to make next season my last one. Too many matches played by disinterested players. They can only be bothered to play well against the big 4 and, if we’re lucky, draws against Sunderland and Newcastle.
    My commitment will remain in abeyance until I see what sort of effort is put into the last 4 games of this season.
    Remembering the seasons under McClaren when the players lost the first and last 4 games of the season and also how they tapered away last season under GS.
    I want a guarantee that if I opt for the 3-year ticket I can have a refund on the remaining season(s) if they are relegated in either of the first 2 seasons.
    I pay for entertainment, and that has been sorely lacking for most of the last 5 seasons.
    Even allowing for the fantastic European experiences and Cup games the overriding thing for me is the lack of effort in the majority of league games.
    Please don’t misunderstand me, I do not expect us to win every single game we play, but I do expect there to be a consistent level of application.
    As an extra for committing to 3-years I would also like to see free home entrance to at least one of the Cup competitions.
    Just some food for thought!
    Regards

  25. While the season ticket reductions for the next generation of fans should be welcomed, I still feel that the club have failed to address the underlying problem with their ticket pricing policy.
    The object of the exercise should be to fill the ground every game, which means being able to offer attractive reductions for less popular games.
    But if the price paid to watch a game by a season ticket holder is undercut by a match-day offer then it devalues the loyalty of fans with season tickets.
    Perhaps a solution would be to make it clear what the price of a season ticket represents – for example games could be given 2 tariffs (against popular and unpopular teams).
    So if the tariff for games against popular teams was twice that for unpopular teams then match-day tickets could be made more attractive without upsetting the ST holders.
    Though it will be the quality of the football played by Boro that will ultimately attract the fans back.

  26. Whilst the club proposals are sensible, as many have pointed out it is a difficult balance between attracting walk up fans and alienating season ticket holders.
    An area I have regularly turned to is what the club are doing with the information that comes in from people who buy tickets and merchandise from the clubs.
    There are many groups of fans who support the Boro who dont go every week but contribute. Typically fans who live some distance away and see more away matches. Families of regulars who dont go to every match, Shift workers who cant get to every home match.
    The club should be able to develop a marketing information system to reward those people. Simple ideas such as buildiing up points like at Tesco. We could get away from the lottery of cup tickets for example.
    As many of you may recall I have posted before about ticket allocation for big matches – I had enough stubs for the carling cup final but was scuppered by season ticket holders passing on their stubs to their mates (cant blame them for helping a mate). That would be an incentive to get people to go to more matches.
    The opposite is a disincentive not to make round trips to the Riverside for evening cup games in wintry conditions and getting home in the early hours safe in the knowledge you have cheered the Boro to a cup final that someone else will go to!
    Incentives on ticket pricing so that if people attend regularly then they get a discount on tickets or merchandise.
    No doubt posters will have loads of other ideas, many have already been posted.
    A proactive approach would re engage the fans but do the club have systems in place?

  27. David Morrison mentions the Blackburn prices. Thats for one area in the ground. The majority of tickets are £299-349. Those prices are also early bird prices, where the deadline date is even earlier than ours. They have to renew by April 30th when the prices go up.
    **AV writes: It is usually the case that there is no like for like once you have throw in the different stands, concessions, game categories and other conditions. We have a nightmare every year trying to fin a real comparative price table.
    Shaun, I’ve got a stat for you: Boro are on 99 home league goals against Bolton. History beckons..

  28. Excellent incentive by the club to attract the next generation of fans.
    Family end fair enough.
    What about a ‘boys end’?
    Limited standing? – ST holders only
    Special buses put on from all area’s of Teesside? – season ticket for said bus?
    Just a few ideas of the many that have been mentioned on this blog in the past.
    AV – How about you collating what you think are the best ideas and passing them onto Neil Bausor?
    C’Mon Boro!
    **AV writes: I can do that. Do you have any more?

  29. This should have been on the Boro Bandwagon Blog but you have to start and think that we might be turning the corner when Boro hater Lawro writes:
    Boro have been really good recently. I thought they may have caved in after that FA Cup defeat against Cardiff, but slowly but surely Gareth Southgate has turned it around.
    He has a very good chairman and the only way is up for them.

  30. • Junior fans under the age of 11 can sit accompanied by an adult anywhere in the stadium for £120.
    • A saving of up to 17% compared to buying Premier League home tickets on a match by match basis.
    • The same seat guaranteed for every Premier League fixture at the Riverside.
    • A guaranteed ticket price of £5 for under-18s who attend any home cup-ties up to the quarter-final stage during the 2007-08 season
    • Priority when purchasing tickets for cup games and away
    fixtures when demand is high and availability restricted.
    • Entry into a monthly draw to win superb Boro prizes, including matchday hospitality in the Riverside’s executive suites
    .
    • 20% discount on our usual prices for Sunday lunch, celebration parties and wedding receptions
    • An opportunity to take advantage of exclusive price promotions at our MFC Retail stores – with up to 50% off most lines.
    • Priority in purchasing the new Boro shirt
    • Free admission to Boro’s second team games at the Riverside Stadium and Billingham Synthonia’s Central Avenue ground.
    • Guided tours of the Riverside Stadium for just £1 when
    accompanied by an adult non-season ticket holder.
    • 50% discount on guided tours of Boro’s Rockliffe Park training ground for a six-week period only during the close season
    I think tony black wanted to see these in the new season ticket, guess what, this is the benfits of last years, we already have most of them.

  31. The deadline to renew IS NOT 11th May, it’s the 28th June. You just have to pay a bit £19 extra if you don’t stump up by 11th May.

  32. The point about this early bird AV is it has been moved forward another pay packet and month earlier to May.
    Which is an unpleasant surprise to most existing holders.
    So many loyal Season ticket holders myself included who cant get such finance at short notice are paying more this year – FACT. So a sly dig in the ribs from the club at the existing over 21 fan base. What price loyalty?

  33. Surely you knew it was coming soon though glovers studs?
    If it’s a paypacket early, then don’t you only have to budget and get one more months payment together? Otherwise were you still going to find and pay it all in one go anyway?

  34. “Special buses put on from all area’s of Teesside? – season ticket for said bus?”
    This is the best idea of the all, why?
    – If they run the buses from Teesside pubs, the very people they are trying to attract will be in such pubs.
    – No need to leave early if you’re on the bus, as it doesn’t leave until the match is over.
    – Fans can have a few drinks and leave the car at home, will improve the atmosphere.
    – The club can then control at what time fans arrive at the ground. If they arrive sufficiently prior to Kick off, they’ll then spend money at the ground.
    – Getting people to use buses will reduce congestion, maybe even the local council will subsidise this as well.
    I’ve previously mentioned this idea to the 12 Man supporters group, but they are only interested in improving the atmosphere within the ground.
    So AV can you pass this onto Neil Bausor?
    **AV writes: This is a commonplace in Europe and suits all parties, especially the police who can control traffic as well as more effectively maintain public order.

  35. What’s great about all this is the positive vibes coming from the club of late – no more doom-and-gloom textile based pronouncements, it’s all forward-looking hope for the future stuff now.
    And it’s important, because this atmosphere, good or bad, finds its way to the players either through what they read or from the crowds at matchday. It may be the deciding factor on whether a good player wants to stay during the summer, and helps to motivate them on the pitch.
    Also, I think posters like TB and Richard are making important points about the matchday experience. I got to see a Cercle Bruge game last year, and was really surprised at how good an experience it was. Admittedly, the 14 euro ticket price was a good start, but the cross-section of ages present was far more normal than what you get at premiership games – loads of teenagers, all behaving well.
    Also, it felt like a proper evening out. The bar areas were large, plenty of seating. After the game, many people stayed around for a pint, and the area outside the ground was a pleasant place to hang about and have a burger and chips.
    I don’t see why MFC can’t make the riverside more like that: a place you can go, early if you like, meet up with friends in a comfortable environment, and similarly after the game.
    This seems to me to be the only way to tempt back the pub crowd, and will make it far more attractive to younger supporters.

  36. Otley Boro, thats a great idea.
    I for one have been asking why boro dont put on more transport to games. Bolton are paying for their supporters to get here on coaches, when have boro ever done that?
    I also think aswell season ticket holders should get the opportunity to go to an away game for nothing during the course of a season.

  37. They don’t open the ground until 2pm. Ridiculous. I love the boro but hate MFC.
    At work so that’s all I can say for now.
    Again good work on the blog, Vic.

  38. jc wrote…
    What’s great about all this is the positive vibes coming from the club of late – no more doom-and-gloom textile based pronouncements, it’s all forward-looking hope for the future stuff now.
    And it’s important, because this atmosphere, good or bad, finds its way to the players either through what they read or from the crowds at matchday. It may be the deciding factor on whether a good player wants to stay during the summer, and helps to motivate them on the pitch.
    Mate, I couldn’t agree more and have been banging on about this for ages !
    This is a great post and sums up exactly what’s required.
    Yes, let’s never forget where we came from, what we’ve achieved and who we are, but lets ditch the small town mentality, look up to the future with an all new sense of fighting spirit and purpose and really see where we can go.
    Let’s lead the way with through new ideas and new innovations and new technologies.
    WIN – WIN – WIN.
    Everyone positive, everyone pulling togther, a few more quality signings on the pitch and in the backroom to bring in fresh, new and better ideas and let’s really go for it.
    More flags in the stadium, fireworks ( done by the club at the start of games – why not ??? ) and a fiercesome home end like that of the likes of the AC milans and Madrids where we scare the pants off those who come to visit ( why not ??? )
    Come on. Let’s do it. Let the rallying cry echo through the ghosts of the ships and shipyards where our steel was born. No excuses. Just action. All out action.
    Like I said before, it doesn’t take all that much. It just needs a bit of umph from all those at the club.
    GO GO GO BORO !
    TB

  39. Kids being able to sit anywhere for a fiver a game is brilliant. In Germany they only have reductions for kids in certain areas.
    On the other hand, your ticket in Germany gets you free public transport to the game from a distance of about 50 miles from the ground. Also Bundesliga seating starts at about 10 pounds for adults. So Premiership football is still overpriced.

  40. I love the Boro
    I am a student in Newcastle
    At the Cardiff game some guy went mad as I was making too much noise. He was in front of me
    Time to start getting initiatives in for real mad fans.
    kids is a good start

  41. Interesting to read and see so many positive and exciting ideas and initiatives being put forward on this blog. Its a far cry from a few months ago when things were very pessimistic towards MFC.
    Now they have recaptured hearts, minds and imaginations lets hope they don’t screw it up again. Lets see some of these initiatives carried out especially the transport issues for Buses, Cars and those on foot having to walk across minefields. Why not a Train halt just outside the ground? It would provide another travel option for away and home fans.
    Come On Boro!

  42. Great positive initiatives posted here but the massive negative(Bolton) of yet another mediocre, average under achieving home performance in a season of dreadful performances at home, against average opponents only serves to massively undermine all these good ideas.
    After all the product on the pitch was often considered by the club to be the decisive factor in maintaining supporters loyalites.
    In respect of two of the points raised ;
    “I’ve previously mentioned this idea to the 12 Man supporters group, but they are only interested in improving the atmosphere within the ground.”
    Surely fans getting to the ground in a good frame of mind, rather than a gloomy, negative mood as a result of bad expereiences getting to the ground are not mutually exclusive – one impinges on the other, surely? So the 12th man should be persuaded to get the blinkers off and not be so narrow – get involved.
    Redcar red makes a great points about improving transport infrastructures, especially the rail halt outside the ground, after all the main line is just metres away; we just don’t know whether it has ever been considered, there has certainly been no communication/consultation with the fans on this one.

  43. i am a south stand season ticket holder and have been supporting the boro for the last 14 years. i am rewarded by being told i have to move for away fans next season. It just shows how much the club think the home fans are worth

  44. You can’t really blame the club for freeing up the south stand for away fans. Your getting plenty of options where to relocate, including the east lower, at a south stand prize, which is a much better seat. You can also try out your potential new seats at the final two home games.
    **AV writes: I believe the deported die-hards can relocate anywhere apart East and West Upper for no extra cost and will also get all home cup tickets free next season too, although for many that will not soften the blow of being ejected from “their” seat.
    From the club’s point of view the South Stand clearance will allow them the flexibility to give more seats to those teams who bring a lot of away fans, will fill in some of the gaps in other areas and maybe create space for reasonably priced on day sales and ticket initiatives too.
    There are several major problems in the geography and demographics of the ground that are the legacy of the early season ticket sell out – there are very few groups of six or eight seats together in cheaper areas for instance that would suit gangs of lads who want to to come together for instance, a family area with very cheap kids tickets is being created in the East Stand to fill in some of the huge empty gaps that look so awful on telly – and the club are taking steps to tackle some of them. That is bound to ruffle some feathers.

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