Ian Murphy – Head of Ticketing, THFC
Levi Harris – Head of Supporter Engagement, THFC
Anthoulla Achilleos – Vice Chair, THST
Henry Ellis – Board Member, THST
In response to questions from THST, the Club confirmed that there are c42,500 General Admission Season Ticket Holders (including 1882) and c8,000 Premium season ticket holders.
SEASON TICKET RENEWALS
THST asked about ST renewals for 2023/24 season; what was the retention rate and had there been an uptick in the number of fans opting to pay via V12 finance given the cost-of-living crisis? The Club said that there had been a marginal increase in the number of people taking the instalment option. The Club was pleased with renewal rates and reported them to be in the high 90s percentage wise. This figure correlated with THST’s fan summer survey results.
The Club said the relocation process had gone well over the summer and no issues with the process arose.
They noted some fans had opted not to proceed with their seat renewal request as availability was limited due to high renewal rate. The Club encourage fans to keep checking the stadium map even after your phase window, as availability is fluid due to fans in other phases moving and freeing up seats in other areas of the ground.
THST discussed the 52 ring-fenced seats for the singing section and commented on the improved atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this season. The Club are pleased with how the initiative has been received. Prior to the start of the drum trial a small number of concerned fans contacted the Club about the impact of the drum on their matchday experience. Following the first match of the trial however, all were happy to remain in their current seats. THST asked about plans for the expansion of the singing section to which the Club responded that this will be dependent on renewals in the areas in proximity. THST raised a concern around moving fans from more expensive locations into the cheaper south stand to be part of the singing section as this would reduce the balance of pricing in the inventory for match-day sales. The Club reassured that this is being taken into account for any plans to expand this section.
ONE HOTSPUR MEMBERSHIPS
THST asked how many One Hotspur Members there are. The Club does not share commercial breakdowns but reported they had good renewal rates and the membership programme is continually growing as it usually does as the season progresses, particularly with the increased demand for matchday tickets. THST commented that the results for the summer fan survey suggested there would be a drop in one hotspur membership renewal rates; 68% told us they were renewing their memberships for next season down from 87% in 2022.
THST began with outlining the ticket campaign that was launched in August and noting that the Club had mentioned in the Fan Advisory Board minutes and Fan Forum that a full ticketing review would be in progress. THST asked what this review will entail, if it has already started and what information can be shared at this stage. The Club confirmed that the review is underway, and the remit of the review would be to look at every aspect of ticketing (including pricing). It was described by the Club as a way of relooking and taking stock – reflecting on what has been done well and what can be improved. It will be looking at ticketing from both a fan and business point of view. Topics up for discussion in this review will be how loyalty is being rewarded, the pricing structure across all ticketing types and how the Club will be looking to encourage young fans to attend games. The Club also confirmed THST, through its FAB representatives, will have input into this review process. THST recommended the Club set up focus groups as part of this review process to gauge opinion from the different areas of the fan base (Adult, senior, young adult, Junior season ticket holders and members). The Club noted this suggestion.
THST asked whether this review will be completed in time for next season’s ticket renewal period. The Club could not confirm whether this will be in time for season ticket renewals. THST stated that price increases are a worry for fans every year and more so during the current macroeconomic environment given that salaries are not increasing at the same rate as inflation. THST recommended that the Club communicate the outcomes from the review as early as possible to try and remove some of the worry for fans both next season and seasons that follow.
HALF SEASON TICKETS
THST asked whether half season tickets will be an option again this season. The Club said they will confirm at a later date as a decision has yet to be taken.
THST asked if there are still the same percentage of season ticket holders as concessions and asked if the Club could break this number down further into Junior, Young Adult and Senior. The Club reported the number of concessionary season ticket holders is now higher. . The Club stated they would not provide the commercial breakdown.
In our last meeting, the Club clarified that, to be eligible for senior concession STs for the 2023/24 season, you must be aged 65 or over by 12th August 2023 and in an area less than £1200. The Club after the last meeting then clarified that concessions in the stadium are subject to availability to strike a balance between different concessions and seasonal/matchday ticket types. THST has since had many emails from senior fans concerned and appalled with not being able to access their concessionary discount.
THST asked for clarity on this policy and why there is a limit on senior concessions per block. The Club clarified their current concessionary policy. They confirmed if you are already seated in a concession eligible area then you will get access to your discount automatically. Senior concessions are limited if you are relocating from a non-concession eligible area into an eligible area to access the discount. The Club agreed that communication around this policy is not clear for fans and will be looking to include it on Ask Spurs. They confirmed that concessions are a part of the ticket review in process. THST reiterated that concessions should be linked to the person and not the seat and that affordable pricing would encourage younger fans to attend games which would ensure there is an age turnover within the fanbase.
THST asked whether cup matches will remain outside of categorisation if we draw a home tie in the FA cup. The Club confirmed that this will remain the case.
THST mentioned there has been several fans unhappy with the cut offs for away allocations. The Club stated that we have had back-to-back low allocation away games and it is unfortunately to be expected. The Club confirmed that 12.5% of away allocation is assigned to Premiums, in line with the proportion of Premium Season Ticket Holders at home matches and there is then a fixed number of contractual and small number ad hoc requests for players, sponsors and staff for each away allocation. THST suggested the Club publish a rough breakdown of GA allocated tickets vs Premiums/Contractual obligations, in the aim for transparency, when announcing point cut offs. The Club noted this suggestion.
THST and the Club acknowledged that there remains an issue with away tickets being passed on. Tackling this is an uphill struggle until away digital ticketing with sufficient technology to prevent screen-grabbing and revolving barcodes is introduced. As always, the Club encourage fans to report any evidence of ticket abuse to the Club so that action can be taken. This can be done by emailing email@example.com with supporting evidence such as screenshots.
At the last meeting, THST raised the inconsistency in away ticket booking fees. Away ticket booking fees are £1 but if the lead booker is unsuccessful or the payment fails, the tickets become reserved on fan’s accounts for purchase. When these are added to the basket, the booking fee becomes £1.75. The Club has confirmed that this issue has now been rectified.
OTHER ITEMS FROM THST SURVEY
THST flagged the other areas of concern from its annual survey that had not been covered in the earlier discussion. Those were:
- Concessions on the exchange: THST acknowledged that THFC has one of the best ticket exchange platforms in the league, however the lack of concessionary pricing is still an issue we’d like to see improvement in. THST suggested adding a function to allow Adult ST holders to list tickets at a concessionary rate if they wish to on the exchange. The Club stated that this issue will be included in the ticketing review.
- Ticket exchange to open earlier: The Club reported they always endeavour to open the ticket exchange platform as soon as they are able to but will look at this process again in their review
- Removal of booking fees for ST renewals: THST reported from the annual survey there was an overwhelming call for this in the qualitative data. The Club again confirmed they will be looking at this in their review.
- Ability to draw down funds from ticket exchange sales more frequently: THST asked whether there was a way to allow fans to draw down funds more regularly than once a month as this was mentioned by many in the annual survey. The Club acknowledged this and confirmed if fans do miss the monthly cut-off they can usually cater for this on ad hoc basis if contacted. The Club also stated they will continue to look at ways this could be improved in the future.
12 October, 2023