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tboullem
Attendances.......
Mobbs (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 17:06
Just watching Wuss against Wasps with lots of empty seats in evidence at Sixways. Bearing in mind that we were unable to sell-out against Tigers yesterday I just had a look at attendances elsewhere.

Bath were just about full for the visit of Saracens but there were poor gates at Sale and Exeter with Quins also well short of capacity. Last weekend, HQ was well down on previous years despite lots of freebies being given away by Sarries.

Is the pricing of rugby now getting to the point where spectators prefer to pick and choose which matches they go to rather than buy a season ticket or simply go as a matter of course ?

 
herbie85
Re: Attendances.......
herbie85 (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 17:09
Good points raised, even more strange about the wuss attendance is that this fixture is pretty much a derby now

 
fair_weather_fan
Re: Attendances.......
fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 17:48
It could be nothing to do with the rugby directly just a sign of the economic times.

 
MarchingIn
Re: Attendances.......
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 18:12
A poor gate at Exeter is a bad sign - unable to sell out the opening home game as champions?

 
andysaint
Re: Attendances.......
andysaint (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 19:05
What was our attendance yesterday? 15200? I dont believe that...

 
Garracc
Re: Attendances.......
Garracc (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 19:09
The simple answer i think is yes. We needed an extra ticket yesterday and it cost close on £60 to be next to us. We are season ticket holders and because of being unable to take advantage of the early bird savings due to not knowing until later on whether the person could attend due to work commitments its an expensive day out. The days of making your mind up to go to a match on a whim such as when i started going are long long gone im afraid.

 
Saint in Florida
Re: Attendances.......
Saint in Florida (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 19:18
The great conundrum that professional rugby is having to deal with. Just how many are now watching on line, especially given the ever changing kick off times, and the widespread readily availability of internet and radio live feeds. The live experience was always the elixir but the ever growing issues of increased prices, access, etc will inevitably take its toll if there is a cheaper ‘sofa’ option.

I personally was a season ticket holder for many years and used to walk to the Gardens. When the kick off timings started to vary widely I lost a lot of my mojo, not being able to make a lot of the Friday and the frankly bizarre TV chosen timings for kick off. Despite missing the experience, friends, pints etc. it is now driving me away.

Then the trend to ‘widen’ rugby by playing in far flung countries in order to widen the ‘TV’ fan base is worrying and basically puts two fingers up to the traditional fan base. Would rather support other local teams when I could be guaranteed my regular Saturday afternoon slot and 'fix' with my regular folk.

But then I’m an old Luddte and hate change.

 
Warrior7
Re: Attendances.......
Warrior7 (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 19:30
The game being on TV and a Sunday didn't help our attendances - but also the hiding at Newcastle last week left most fans I know pretty much on the fence - we lose too often to attract casual supporters anymore.

 
ROLLO on tour
Re: Attendances.......
ROLLO (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 19:57
I was just going to say what Warrior7 said Sunday is not good for some, neither is Fridays but we only have one home game on a Saturday before Christmas - work that one out.
Olver came on in the second half - no comment.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Attendances.......
higgy365 (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 20:42
Quote:
herbie85
Good points raised, even more strange about the wuss attendance is that this fixture is pretty much a derby now

I don't think it is a derby though. You don't create those by plonking yourself down by another club. They're grown organically over years (decades even)

Totally name dropping but got to talk to Piers Francis before the game yesterday and he said he wasn't long at the club before he was told that this match was the big one for many fans.

 
herbie85
Re: Attendances.......
herbie85 (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 21:07
Quote:
higgy365
Quote:
herbie85
Good points raised, even more strange about the wuss attendance is that this fixture is pretty much a derby now

I don't think it is a derby though. You don't create those by plonking yourself down by another club. They're grown organically over years (decades even)

Totally name dropping but got to talk to Piers Francis before the game yesterday and he said he wasn't long at the club before he was told that this match was the big one for many fans.

Completely agree Higgy, it's a 'derby' now due to location only rather than any historical or rugby factors. I know wasps have a huge push with various things to entice the local catchment area, didn't know if that would get more away supporters down the road to wuss. Comments also fair from the wuss fans in terms of Sunday games and their result v Newcastle maybe turning people off.

 
MarchingIn
Re: Attendances.......
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 21:10
I don't view Waspentry as a proper derby for us either even with them only just down the M45. Maybe in 20 years time when battle lines have been drawn up over academy relationships with schools, and they have secured more entrenched local support it will be different?

 
tboullem
Re: Attendances.......
Mobbs (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 21:51
Interesting leader column in TRP today ( unusual I know....) in which Colin Boag stated that the Premiership is rooted in shifting sand.........have to agree with him for once !

 
St Saltaire
Re: Attendances.......
St Saltaire (IP Logged)
10 September, 2017 22:37
Ticket prices and merchandise are too expensive. Rugby needs to look at other professional sports and learn some lessons.
I live in exile in West Yorkshire and have a Season Ticket at Bradford City - that costs £150 for the season! £8 a game, if I attend all. My children are also STHs, their ST price is £100 (Junior and Student prices). Small children are free. Bradford also run a 'Flexi card' system - pay £100 and your seat is guaranteed and you pay half price of a normal ticket (£25) on the day. Since Bradford took this enlightened approach their average attendance has risen from 6000 to nearly 18000 and sales of food drink and other merchandise has risen. The Chairman recently said that 12000 shirts were sold last season.
I am not suggesting that Saints need to reduce the tickets that much, as there will be a supply and demand balance but I'm sure that a reduction would lead to increased take up of Season Tickets and greater attendance.
I usually get to two Saints games a Season that unfortunately cost more than my Football Season Ticket.
The TV money now coming into rugby should be partly used to increase the supporter base which in turn will improve atmosphere. Even the Premier League football clubs have reduced away fan ticket prices to £30 to encourage attendance.
There have been numerous posts about the increasing price of Saints Season Ticket prices and I'm sure that some people now genuinely can't afford them.

 
bg
Re: Attendances.......
bg (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 01:42
If its any solace to the Saints fans, Wasps fans feel we're getting ripped off in terms of pricing and service as well.

 
tboullem
Re: Attendances.......
Mobbs (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 09:05
I thought all tickets at the Ricoh were free.........(Sm137)

 
Hantsaintsrus4
Re: Attendances.......
Hantsaintsrus4 (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 09:07
Some blame Brexit!

 
Duckonstilts
Re: Attendances.......
Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 09:28
Its definitely becoming more expensive, but so is everything else to be honest. A lack of wage inflation is the biggest issue (unless your a professional sportsman).

The club should however be smarter. Yes you can fill a ground by offering discounted tickets but that does nothing to reward the loyal customer. Loyalty is so rarely rewarded by companies any more. Perhaps a 1% discount for every year you keep your season ticket, might help retention. Would probably need a cap of 15-20%. Keeping a fan of 10+ years is much more valuable in the long term.

Also a sliding scale for fans transitioning from Junior to full price tickets. I am sure there are a lot of fans that can no longer afford to come when there ticket doubles overnight.

I like the reduced Away ticket idea. Often there are so few away fans its difficult to create an atmosphere. If we have all the singing /chanting our own way we get a bit quiet. Mixing with fans of other clubs in one of the best bits of Rugby. Except Tigers ad Exeter its rare we get a decent away crowd. Im not suggesting a huge allocation but if those away tickets were £30 you could probably get a day out under £100pp. Makes it more attractive.

 
Deesaint
Re: Attendances.......
Deesaint (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 11:43
It definitely is becoming more expensive. We tried to get a pair of tickets for visitors; granted that it was last minute but looked at a bill of £120
We didn't bother.
I would have thought getting any money for the seats would have been better for the club than nothing; plus possible sale of beer etc.

Wouldn't a 'standby' system work, where unsold tickets could be sold to interested parties for say £20 adult £10 child from 4 hours before KO; £10 and £5 an hour before. Better to get bums on seats than no revenue. Those going might enjoy it so much that they become STH.

As Duck says the club needs to become smarter.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Attendances.......
Saint Robert (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 12:00
Quote:
Deesaint
It definitely is becoming more expensive. We tried to get a pair of tickets for visitors; granted that it was last minute but looked at a bill of £120
We didn't bother.
I would have thought getting any money for the seats would have been better for the club than nothing; plus possible sale of beer etc.

Wouldn't a 'standby' system work, where unsold tickets could be sold to interested parties for say £20 adult £10 child from 4 hours before KO; £10 and £5 an hour before. Better to get bums on seats than no revenue. Those going might enjoy it so much that they become STH.

As Duck says the club needs to become smarter.

If I recall correctly, Chris W responded, to some STHs complaining about seats being sold at prices cheaper than the pro-rated cost of a season ticket seat, that the STH price per seat per game would always be the lowest price available.

 
Saint Stokey
Re: Attendances.......
Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 12:02
The problem with the 'stand-by' tickets idea is that you can't under-sell season ticket holders.

The only real option is to find a rich backer who is happy to fund the short fall due to reduced ticket prices.

We're in that tricky situation where we need to make money to compete. Lower prices equal less money which means that we have less money to sign new players, to keep existing players and help bring through youngsters.

Unfortunately, you can't have both.

 
herbie85
Re: Attendances.......
herbie85 (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 12:03
Wasps are doing a free emergency services ticket on Sunday. They also run 20% off for emergency services on normal tickets and I presume this extends to 'staff' as well as simply 'front line' roles. I know wasps have a much bigger capacity but I'm sure a lot of clubs could offer discounts to different workplaces etc, certainly for harder to sell fixtures.

I know saints do the early bird, but evidence was against tigers that there were a fair few seats unfilled about.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2017 12:09 by herbie85.

 
Sans Culottes
Re: Attendances.......
Sans Culottes (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 13:00
Quote:
herbie85
Wasps are doing a free emergency services ticket on Sunday. They also run 20% off for emergency services on normal tickets and I presume this extends to 'staff' as well as simply 'front line' roles. I know wasps have a much bigger capacity but I'm sure a lot of clubs could offer discounts to different workplaces etc, certainly for harder to sell fixtures.
I know saints do the early bird, but evidence was against tigers that there were a fair few seats unfilled about.

1) It is not clear to me why one group of people should be offered cheaper tickets based on their chosen profession.

2) Agree with Saint Stokey that the policy that tickets should not be sold below the price available to STHs who commit upfront for the season is correct. I can see the attraction to the bean counters of selling remaining tickets at any price as, short term, some revenue is better than none, but this policy devalues season tickets which contribute known income and positive cashflow.I believe the new Chairman's commitment to never undersell the STHs is correct.

3)However, I can see the potential benefit in encouraging young people into the club, who may go on, when they have funds of their own, to become regular supporters and maybe STHs. Possibly discounting remaining tickets to youth members of local rugby clubs might be a compromise that works.Not sure how that sits with 2 above though.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Attendances.......
Flook (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 13:29
Interesting discussion.

Due to work commitments, I gave up having a season ticket several years ago and have only been back to FG a couple of times since then. Some would say no doubt that I am not a 'true supporter.' With the availability of legal or otherwise streams of games being readily available for most games I find my sofa or a hotel room to be my preferred place to watch and support the Saints. I do not think paying up to £50 to be constantly having to let folks in and out, with overpriced drinks or food is my idea of an afternoon or evenings entertainment. The ability to have drink and eat decent food in comfort suits me. I still shout at the TV at the inadequacies of players or referees and like those who made the choice to leave at halftime at HQ or those that leave early, I have the on/off button at my disposal when I have seen enough, without inconveniencing all and sundry. These are our choices.

Am I in the minority? I think not.

One other reason for the decline in attendances, could be the lack of variety in the opposition, it is accepted that there is only a couple or so teams that are liable to be relegated and whoever goes down will bounce back mainly straight away. A wider league similar to the PRO14 might be the answer, who knows?

 
fair_weather_fan
Re: Attendances.......
fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
11 September, 2017 16:59
Remember the seats of STH'S are sold and count to attendance even when empty. So only a few clusters of really empty seats.

I felt there were less Tigs fans there than of yore.

If we beat Bath playing well and win another game playing well this month tickets will get scarce all of a sudden.

We should by the by commend the club for the reorganised village. I patronised the real ale bar at about 4pm and it took one minute from arrival with empty pot to departure will a full one. Overall we happily spent double our usual because we didn't have to Q forever each time. This should be a winner for them

 
MarchingIn
Re: Attendances.......
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
12 September, 2017 16:53
I'm a STH.

My attitude has always been that as long as the ST is demonstrably the cheapest way to buy a full season worth of tickets, then it makes absolutely no difference to me if Saints sell 1000 tickets to some rainswept winter evening Anglo-Welsh match that is never going to sell out for a tenner on Groupon. In fact, I would really rather they did - as long as I can trust that the ST will remain better VFM overall, if they can get £10k in extra revenue (plus food & drink sales) that's another bit of revenue to balance the books.

My attitude remains that the club should just ensure that an ST is the best season long deal, and communicate clearly with fans to demonstrate how that is the case. They do not have to justify occasional last minute discounts, group deals, multi-game offers or giving away tickets to me - I would rather see the ground full.

I can watch good rugby at Bedford for £16 a game if I book online. I can watch a Premiership side who were much more entertaining than Saints last year 20 miles up the road at the Ricoh for a lot less than an FG ticket - their next game against Quins has seats from £24. Our cheapest tickets VS Quins 2 weeks later are £36 standing. According to recent discussion on Tigers board, I can buy a standing ticket for 4 games at Welford Road for £59.

Saints must adapt to commercial realities, and we have to let them.

To those who were quick to complain in the past need to wake up and smell the coffee:

We cannot even sell out our local derby
We aren't winning trophies
We need new fans to come
We need visiting fans to come



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 17:23 by MarchingIn.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Attendances.......
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
12 September, 2017 17:14
You may be able to find cheaper tickets on stub hub from those STH who can not make the game? it is possible that those STH set up the price to drop as the game gets closer. Chris W mentioned that this system was being sorted out to be available through individual STH accounts?

This would mean in practice the club would get more for the "seat" but the ticket could be cheaper?



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Sans Culottes
Re: Attendances.......
Sans Culottes (IP Logged)
12 September, 2017 17:40
Quote:
MarchingIn
I'm a STH.
My attitude has always been that as long as the ST is demonstrably the cheapest way to buy a full season worth of tickets, then it makes absolutely no difference to me if Saints sell 1000 tickets to some rainswept winter evening Anglo-Welsh match that is never going to sell out for a tenner on Groupon. In fact, I would really rather they did - as long as I can trust that the ST will remain better VFM overall, if they can get £10k in extra revenue (plus food & drink sales) that's another bit of revenue to balance the books.

My attitude remains that the club should just ensure that an ST is the best season long deal, and communicate clearly with fans to demonstrate how that is the case. They do not have to justify occasional last minute discounts, group deals, multi-game offers or giving away tickets to me - I would rather see the ground full.
....

Reflecting on my earlier comment about not underselling STHs and MarchingIn's comment above; I agree with MarchingIn about filling the ground , but and it is a big but, it does not matter how hard you bang the drum and tell STHs that they have the best overall deal, the continual discounting that took place last season gave the impression that STHs were not valued and could possibly have saved money by buying "spot" tickets.It may well not have been the case, but it is a hard message to get across whilst heavily promoting discounted tickets.

 
MarchingIn
Re: Attendances.......
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
12 September, 2017 20:05
If I pick on the standing blocks at either end (B & D) their season tickets are £346.

That gets you at least 11 prem games, a couple of AW games, and 3 in Europe = 16 games "proper" that people really count when pricing up the season.

This means you are paying £21.65 a match for the main season. Thats the minimum price Saints are committed to offer for any standing ticket I guess (?) unless they add in the summer warms ups and so on, which would actually drop it! So they could Groupon tickets at £22 every game and keep the "pledge"?

Let's say they don't count everything, and any additional games, pre-season or Wandies you see gratis with an ST are a bonus. The average cost of a normal ticket in those blocks is probably £36 - so that's £576 if you attended all 16 games on general admission.

Let's say Saints didn't discount 6 of these 16 "core" fixtures whatsoever. But they sold tickets for both AW round fixtures for a tenner, discounted one Friday night prem game to £15 to get a full house, sold all 3 European games at £20, and offered a "last 4 games for £75" deal at the end of the season.

That's is....
6x £36
2x£10
3x £20
1x£75
= £386

More than my ST, yet, several games were notionally "sold cheaper" than my ST.

But why do I care?

All Saints have to do is tell me the right story:

For core Aviva, Euro & AW games...
General Admission cost of your ST = £576
Early Bird cost of your ST =£450*
The most discounted deals we offered = £376
Your ST cost = £346
You saved between £30 & £230
The total bonus value of additional non-core games you were able to attend with your season ticket =£90 (or whatever)

Works for me?


*I made this up, I don't know what they offer!

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Attendances.......
Abington Adam (IP Logged)
13 September, 2017 13:46
I don't think that my season ticket is bad value for money, but on a match by match basis our tickets are simply too expensive to attract anybody but the very committed or those with money to burn. The pricing for the Barwell Stand has been wrong from the start (why is it more than the South Stand?!), hence lots of empty seats there for almost every game. Add to that the fact that we're no longer a club on the up and up, and in reality we're doing quite well to still be getting 14,000 for most games. Looking at the ticketing system for the Bath game, it seems that we may have a fairly unimpressive attendance on Friday.

 
tboullem
Re: Attendances.......
Mobbs (IP Logged)
13 September, 2017 14:08
Having just purchased an extra ticket for an offspring of mine, I have had quick look at how many seats are still unsold for friday night against Bath - the Barwell looks very sparse indeed and plenty of room elsewhere. Is this just a reflection of friday night fixtures or has pricing policy pushed too many casual fans over the edge towards BT Sport ?

 
tedge
Re: Attendances.......
tedge (IP Logged)
13 September, 2017 15:53
I don't think the expanded stadium has yet fully sold out after two and a half seasons, yet many were clamouring for the capacity to go up to 17,000 plus when the Sturtridge replacement was being planned. Granted the gradual decline in performance started around the same time but I agree it also has something to do with the unchanging sameness of the opposition - even in Europe. If Saints were top of the league it would help but they aren't going to be most of the time. I would love to see a league which included Pro 14 sides especially with 2 SA sides in it, but it's not going to happen any time soon so I suspect the attendances will average around 14.5k for the foreseeable future.

 
MarchingIn
Re: Attendances.......
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
13 September, 2017 21:31
I agree it gets a bit samey.

I wish the "development cup" competition included the championship as well.

Various opinion pieces are written saying the gaps between divisions are too great, but the structure of the sport is such that sides like Rotherham, Bedford, Cornish Pirates never play us in games that matter.

A side like Bedford with Dickson, Hooley & Packman in their backline is not going to just bend over and take a pasting off a premiership "development cup" side, and it would be great to play the odd competitive game against the historic clubs just outside the top flight - probably a good payday for the smaller championship clubs too when they get a home derby game.

They get to play against the likes of Leinster and Ospreys in their current cup, but not us.

 
Sans Culottes
Re: Attendances.......
Sans Culottes (IP Logged)
13 September, 2017 22:45
Quote:
MarchingIn
I agree it gets a bit samey.
I wish the "development cup" competition included the championship as well.

Various opinion pieces are written saying the gaps between divisions are too great, but the structure of the sport is such that sides like Rotherham, Bedford, Cornish Pirates never play us in games that matter.

A side like Bedford with Dickson, Hooley & Packman in their backline is not going to just bend over and take a pasting off a premiership "development cup" side, and it would be great to play the odd competitive game against the historic clubs just outside the top flight - probably a good payday for the smaller championship clubs too when they get a home derby game.

They get to play against the likes of Leinster and Ospreys in their current cup, but not us.

+1

 
tboullem
Re: Attendances.......
Mobbs (IP Logged)
14 September, 2017 09:19
Totally agree with Marching !

I would like to see a Cup competition that includes the Championship sides on a knock-out basis with seeded teams being forced to play first couple of rounds away from home thus encouraging smaller sides and hopefully giving them some income. No players with International Caps allowed to play for seeded teams thus forcing them to play fringe and and younger players.

Anything to get away from the ridiculous format of the AW competition

 
MarchingIn
Re: Attendances.......
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
16 September, 2017 12:17
Attendance last night was noticeably low, given as under 13k but I think it would be lower when ST non-arrivals are taken into account as well.

Next confirmed premiership Friday night is, I believe, December the 1st VS Newcastle, which will barely garner any away support at all.

Saints have time to think through some inventive marketing / pricing strategies to fill the ground, such as bundling in food & drink offers with tickets and maybe putting together some group offers with blocks of seats in the Barwell (and mabe some sort of private bar - marquee or a section off bit of the main bar?)

Would be nice to see more in thay yesterday and I'm sure Saints could use the revenue!


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