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Latest SWFC Supporters' Trust Report - Ticketing Strategy at Birmingham City


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Hello everyone, please see below a link to the latest in a series of reports published by the Trust in support of our aims. 

This research paper looks at the ticketing strategy adopted in recent seasons by Birmingham City where attendances and revenue have both risen over the last five years. The paper is not put forward as a perfect template that Sheffield Wednesday should adopt. Rather, it is aimed to provide data and inspiration from which constructive recommendations are offered for reform at Sheffield Wednesday to help make it ready for the post-Covid era.

We' have taken on board comments and suggestions made here and elsewhere before releasing this report. The reports we publish go through a thorough review process before they are released. Each paper is peer-reviewed after its first draft by a university based academic. The second draft then goes through a further full review by a different academic. The text is also proof-read. The data and arguments are therefore thoroughly checked. The author would like to say that any mistakes remain his own!

 

The link to the report is here: SWFC Supporters' Trust Reports

 

As always, we are interested in any thoughts and comments. The post below is our shorter blog introducing the report and its arguments. 

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Excellent stuff.  I've just read the lot, and it's really good.  I think if you can get the away attendances for the BCFC like you have done with SWFC, then the tables are more comparable, either way it doesn't distract too much from the overall findings.

 

I kept seeing this word: "Strategy" though, never heard of it.  BCFC have a plethora of incentives to get fans coming, it's brilliant.

 

BCFC clearly have worked hard and have a key objective (probably several).  They've a goal, and set out ways to achieve it.  It' results are there for all to see (including revenue).  Just as important as the increase in revenue is that they're encouraging fans to return more often, more than the cash that they bring.   I hate the fact that several old-timers I know, die-hard Wednesday fans are priced out of Hillsborough.   

 

I note that St Andrews holds 29409, so they're actually running closer to capacity than us.  Incredible we have 17000 empty seats and we're still turning people away due to cost.  I honestly believe that we'd (Club, and some fans) rather have fewer fans and an big increase in revenue, than more fans and a smaller increase in revenue.

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Thanks for this very informative 

 

Are the figures based on home fans only or total match receipts?

 

Is the rise in attendances due to pricing alone or could it be the away end doubling in size?

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9 minutes ago, Manwë said:

Excellent stuff.  I've just read the lot, and it's really good.  I think if you can get the away attendances for the BCFC like you have done with SWFC, then the tables are more comparable, either way it doesn't distract too much from the overall findings.

 

I kept seeing this word: "Strategy" though, never heard of it.  BCFC have a plethora of incentives to get fans coming, it's brilliant.

 

BCFC clearly have worked hard and have a key objective (probably several).  They've a goal, and set out ways to achieve it.  It' results are there for all to see (including revenue).  Just as important as the increase in revenue is that they're encouraging fans to return more often, more than the cash that they bring.   I hate the fact that several old-timers I know, die-hard Wednesday fans are priced out of Hillsborough.   

 

I note that St Andrews holds 29409, so they're actually running closer to capacity than us.  Incredible we have 17000 empty seats and we're still turning people away due to cost.  I honestly believe that we'd (Club, and some fans) rather have fewer fans and an big increase in revenue, than more fans and a smaller increase in revenue.

 

9 minutes ago, yeadonowl said:

Thanks for this very informative 

 

Are the figures based on home fans only or total match receipts?

 

Is the rise in attendances due to pricing alone or could it be the away end doubling in size?

 

Thanks both, being able to find away attendances for BCFC was one frustration of mine. I know though that BCFC have capped away ticket sales at somewhere just under 3,000 in recent years. (It's half of the Gil Merrick stand behind the goal). So, even if there were zero away fans five years ago - and 3,000 every game now, its only half of the increase. It won't be that much! I didn't put it in the report - but Blues do subscribe to the 'Twenty's Plenty' campaign, so that may have had an  impact on any increase in away attendances as well .

The figures as quotes in BCFC's annual report are total receipts from match tickets and season ticket sales. .

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8 minutes ago, SWFC Trust said:

 

 

Thanks both, being able to find away attendances for BCFC was one frustration of mine. I know though that BCFC have capped away ticket sales at somewhere just under 3,000 in recent years. (It's half of the Gil Merrick stand behind the goal). So, even if there were zero away fans five years ago - and 3,000 every game now, its only half of the increase. It won't be that much! I didn't put it in the report - but Blues do subscribe to the 'Twenty's Plenty' campaign, so that may have had an  impact on any increase in away attendances as well .

The figures as quotes in BCFC's annual report are total receipts from match tickets and season ticket sales. .

 

Did the introductory meeting of the new supporter group engagement that was supposed to take place on Saturday go ahead and if so anything worth talking about from this?

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I'll play devils advocate here on my first quick observation.

 

The main focus of this of this seems to be the impressive addition of another 6,000 fans into the St Andrews, resulting in crowds of over 22,000, although last season, pre Covid, they were dropping off again by 2,000 down to their usual non PL average of 19.5k. 

 

My only issue with it is with the dates used for the observations. 

 

The 6,000 growth occurs from a point of BCFC's lowest crowds for over 25 years. Does this not fudge the impressive growth statistic slightly? In 2007 in the Championship, they averaged 22,274 so it's not like they've added another 6,000 fans on the gate, rather than just get the original crowd back.

 

Very much the same with ourselves, in 2007 we averaged 23,368 in Championship and last season pre Covid we were averaging 23,777. 

 

It appears to me that there is a maximum cut off point for all clubs with attendances in this league. Birmingham's appears around 22/23k.

 

Our average attendance, since relegation from PL is 22,483. In the Championship, we've peaked at 27, 129 (16/17) and dropped to 19,268 (00/01).

 

I'd be interested to know just what kind of attendance figure the trust think is achievable if we followed BCFC's lead.

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22 minutes ago, Mcguigan said:

I'll play devils advocate here on my first quick observation.

 

The main focus of this of this seems to be the impressive addition of another 6,000 fans into the St Andrews, resulting in crowds of over 22,000, although last season, pre Covid, they were dropping off again by 2,000 down to their usual non PL average of 19.5k. 

 

My only issue with it is with the dates used for the observations. 

 

The 6,000 growth occurs from a point of BCFC's lowest crowds for over 25 years. Does this not fudge the impressive growth statistic slightly? In 2007 in the Championship, they averaged 22,274 so it's not like they've added another 6,000 fans on the gate, rather than just get the original crowd back.

 

Very much the same with ourselves, in 2007 we averaged 23,368 in Championship and last season pre Covid we were averaging 23,777. 

 

It appears to me that there is a maximum cut off point for all clubs with attendances in this league. Birmingham's appears around 22/23k.

 

Our average attendance, since relegation from PL is 22,483. In the Championship, we've peaked at 27, 129 (16/17) and dropped to 19,268 (00/01).

 

I'd be interested to know just what kind of attendance figure the trust think is achievable if we followed BCFC's lead.

 

Thank you, love a bit of devil's advocate. As we say, the report is designed to provoke debate and discussion  - not provide a one size fits all solution to implement at SWFC. You are right to say that the attendances at BCFC did drop back off in 19/20 pre-Covid - which may suggest they'd hit some kind of limit. Their attendances were even lower in the two years before this report - so I wouldn't say we'd cherry picked the years/figures. Of course though, statistics can always be used to tell a story. And, yes BCFC have had attendances in the low 20,000s before. 

I suppose the point is - is there anything SWFC could learn from how BCFC have increased attendances? Do we just assume that they would have reverted to this level anyhow? With SWFC's attendances falling since the play off years - is there something we could do to increase them again? Without necessarily cutting prices dramatically?

Maybe more questions than answers - but that's what we hoped to provoke!



 

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Very impressed with the research and presentation that has gone into that. 
 

Very interesting to see that they have got progressively worse on the pitch yet the attendances and income from match day revenue have both increased. 
 

For me personally I don’t there is too much of an issue with ST prices and they are good value for money. The issue is match day ticket prices, the club are basically pricing casual fans out of going to games. I worked it out a few years ago it was actually cheaper to buy a season ticket than purchase 13 match day tickets so that’s what I did. 
 

I have wrote to the club about this in the past but got a response which basically said they weren’t interested. 

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7 minutes ago, SWFC Trust said:

 

 

Thank you, love a bit of devil's advocate. As we say, the report is designed to provoke debate and discussion  - not provide a one size fits all solution to implement at SWFC. You are right to say that the attendances at BCFC did drop back off in 19/20 pre-Covid - which may suggest they'd hit some kind of limit. Their attendances were even lower in the two years before this report - so I wouldn't say we'd cherry picked the years/figures. Of course though, statistics can always be used to tell a story. And, yes BCFC have had attendances in the low 20,000s before. 

I suppose the point is - is there anything SWFC could learn from how BCFC have increased attendances? Do we just assume that they would have reverted to this level anyhow? With SWFC's attendances falling since the play off years - is there something we could do to increase them again? Without necessarily cutting prices dramatically?

Maybe more questions than answers - but that's what we hoped to provoke!



 

I just think we just need to be realistic with our claims of how many fans will actually regularly attend Hillsborough, no matter what the price or how good the pie's are, the half time entertainment ect... 

The play off season of 27k, which equated to around 25.5 home fans was probably the maximum for me and that dropped by 1k the season after. Much like BCFC did last season. 

 

Any average over 22k in this league after two decades out of the PL is fantastic going but let's not get ahead of ourselves and think 25k+ are regularly achievable. 

 

They'll come once a blue moon when we're doing well, no matter what it costs. Local history tells us that. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Buddy Repperton said:

All excellent work but alas, wasted on the fool in charge of SWFC!

 

Jesus mate, give it a fekkin break. Its a suggestion comment on that.

 

Can't you at least wait until the 'fool' has rejected it to have a pop.

 

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Think what is really interesting is the switch of ground bands and category bands. That might have some legs in it.

Cheap seats to get fans back on pay on the day would be a welcome development.

Make the best seats more expensive to balance it off.

 

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Thanks for that. For me we need to get rid of the majority of price categories I would love to get rid of them altogether but I can’t see that so maybe just have two. Ticket prices need to come down especially pay on the gate. Tickets should be cheap for the full season not having offers like, season ticket holders bring a friend for a tenner, that’s been tried and it don’t work. People need to get back into the habit of going to the match again. 

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15 minutes ago, Nero said:

Jesus mate, give it a fekkin break. Its a suggestion comment on that.

 

Can't you at least wait until the 'fool' has rejected it to have a pop.

 

You mean the same guy who sold Joao for two bob , rejected Vardy from Foxes for £5 million and son gives team talks?

 

And daren't submit accounts , thus incurring criminal penalties for club. Again.

 

Excellent research and understand Brum about to report profits of £ 3 million soon. 

 

Not long back , were in worst financial situation than us.

 

£20 Kop , West Stand, £25 North , £30 South. 

 

Kids £5 and elephants free.

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