The Club's Chief Executive Liam Scully has answered a number of questions below on Season Tickets regarding Junior Imps, Eventbrite fees and the new Legends Lounge.
Q - What are the reasons for a change in the stadium set up?
LS - The changes come as part of a complete review of ticketing and match day set up at the Club which aims to have fan groups and certain demographics better placed in order to improve the overall individualised experience, maximise capacity, create the best possible atmosphere, and to improve our commerciality in order to provide a first team budget which allows us to compete at the highest level possible.
Junior Imps Club (JIC)
Q - Why have the JIC moved to Co-op Lower 1 and the BMF Stand?
LS - The move to Lower 1 and the BMF aims to allow current JIC season ticket holders (of which there are 351 members) a place in the Co-op Stand (where there are 360 seats), which we believe is still a good view but equally offers a more controlled environment. The BMF Stand will house the match by match sales of JIC members creating a special area for activities around Poachers Corner.
Q - How will this move cater for the needs and requirements of the JIC?
LS - We will be specially training our stewards and our match day team. Going forward, we plan to put on a much better show for our junior fans around the whole match day experience. Key to this is the location of seating.
That said, and should people still wish to stick with their seat, we will of course allow that and at a discounted ‘Family Bundle’ price. Now whilst I respect that this is at an increase, we believe £8.15 per person, per game for undercover seated accommodation to watch League Football is still good value for money.
Q - Is having so many empty seats during night fixtures in the family area of the Co-op Stand another reason behind the move?
LS - The largest number of no-shows/no sales on a match by match basis is within the Junior Imps area of the ground. At times this has been as high as 40% during midweek fixtures.
Previously, when other sections of the ground have sold out we have sold one off tickets within the Junior Imps section. This resulted in a large number of complaints, and again when we didn’t sell into this area we got complaints that the game was sold out but there were plenty of vacant seats in Blocks 1 and 2 of the Co-op.
Q - So what is the plan on a match by match basis for the JIC?
LS - Going forward, the BMF will be sold from the Co-op corner towards the Uni Imps Stand. On a match by match basis we can then review sales and if there is the need and scope, we are able to sell ‘regular’ tickets from left to right where the Junior Imps sales have reached.
This would be done with appropriate segregation and careful stewarding, however it will allow the Club to sell all available seats without infilling within Junior Imps sections.
Q - There has also been an age increase for Junior Imps members. Can you expand on this please?
LS - The last point to note on the Junior Imps Section is that we have lifted the age limit of our Junior Imps members. Previously this was capped at 14 years of age. This year and going forward this has been raised to 17 years of age which hopefully demonstrates our commitment to growing the fan of the future.
Q - What are the financial reasonings behind the addition of the Legends Lounge?
LS - The Club currently suffer from a lack of hospitality options and availability. There is no other way of dressing this up, this significantly hurts the Club in a competitive league.
Generally speaking, clubs generate 33% of their match day revenue from VIP/Hospitality and 66% from ‘regular’ ticket purchases. At Lincoln City this number is much lower and to put it into context, at the January benchmarking which was sent around by the EFL, we were the 35th best attended club in the EFL, however the 6th lowest commercially.
Sincil Bank has a 1 tier pricing structure with the Co-op and Selenity Stands being the same price and this coupled with our lack of hospitality options, depite the demand, means we are simply not maximising revenue options available to ourselves.
Q - Are Eventbrite fees now included in the overall Season Ticket price?
LS - Yes, the Club have taken the decision to swallow the cost of Eventbrite within the overall face value of the ticket. The aim was to create a clear pricing structure where the price promoted is the price you pay.
Now while there has been some cynical reaction to this, it may have been an easier option to promote the cost of the season ticket and leave the ticket processing fee as an add on. This would have gone against the grain of how we try to do business and I am certainly proud that we aren’t charging admin or processing fees.
And to conclude...
LS - I hope some of the above has clarified some of the reasons or at least put some detail behind our thinking. With all humility I will say that as the current custodian(s) of your great Club I accept that we will at times, make unpopular decisions. However our overall objective is to provide this Club with the best possible chance of long term and sustainable success. This is a hard balance to achieve all of the time, however please don’t think for one moment we ever act without great thought or due care and attention.
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