I am delighted to announce that our Season Ticket Campaign is now underway.
Such was the success of last year’s campaign that it is going to be hard to match season ticket sales figures. However, our fans have demonstrated such amazing support for the club over this last year, that we are confident that we will, once again, fill our stadium in the season to come.
Whilst full details are given in the online season ticket brochure, I wanted to highlight a few key points.
In response to demand and feedback from our fans, we are extending the seating available to season ticket holders to now include half of the Roseburn Stand.
This will allow more Hearts supporters than ever to purchase season tickets. It will also allow us flexibility to introduce a “family section” in the Gorgie Stand. Current Gorgie Stand season ticket holders in the proposed area will be given first option to move into the Roseburn Stand, thereby freeing up seats in the “family section”. I would stress that no pressure will be put on anyone to move. Whether or not they choose to do so will be entirely up to individual season ticket holders.
We also plan to offer a wider range of hospitality packages next season, which will see some of the current reserved seating also moved to the Roseburn Stand. Full details on our hospitality arrangements will be provided shortly.
Our objective in implementing these changes is to try to meet the needs of our diverse groups of fans in a manner that supports our drive to improve the matchday experience for everyone and takes us another step forward in creating a family-friendly environment.
On the question of pricing, we have taken a very simple approach. When we were relegated, we dropped all prices by 7%. Now that we are back where we belong, we are increasing the prices by the same, 7%. This means that we are offering season tickets at the 2013/14 pricing levels. We feel this is fair and hope our supporters will agree.
We have also taken the opportunity to address some of the issues raised by our disabled supporters with regard to some pricing anomalies. I am confident the improvements will be well received.
Details of “walk-up” prices are not contained in the season ticket brochure, but I want to assure everyone that the saving to be made by buying a season ticket, over the course of the whole season, will be at least 20% (and in most cases nearer to 25%). We are currently reviewing our “walk-up” pricing model to set matchday ticket pricing as competitively as we can, while maintaining this differential.
Finally, repeating my request from last season, may I remind everyone that paying by credit card costs the club money in terms of fees and also impacts our cash-flow.
While our financial position is very different from last year and while we have negotiated improved terms with our merchant supplier, it is simply sound business practice to minimise these fees where we can.
So…once again…if you pay for your season ticket by credit card, purely for reasons of convenience, can I ask you to consider paying by cash or cheque instead. Last year, only 33% of season tickets were purchased by credit card, down from a norm of 66%, saving the club an estimated £40,000 in fees and significantly aiding our cashflow.
Last year we sold 12,500 season tickets. Our average attendance has been over 16,000 per game. We are providing the opportunity for around 2,000 more supporters to save money. While this is not necessarily the most financially beneficial approach for the club, we believe it is the right and the fair thing to do for our supporters.
Very many thanks to everyone, in advance, for your continued support.