Barcelona has introduced changes to its Seient Lliure ticket resale program in an effort to further increase attendances at its Camp Nou stadium.

The Spanish LaLiga football club initially made alterations to Seient Lliure in the summer and its board has now approved new incentives, to be introduced for Saturday’s game against Sevilla, after assessing how the initial changes have worked during the opening matches of the 2018-19 season.

During the 2017-18 season, Barcelona topped the LaLiga attendance chart, though only averaged 65,824 per game – significantly less than the Camp Nou’s capacity of 99,354. In the first games played this season, Barcelona said average attendance has increased by around 9 per cent. This percentage is broken down by a 4 per cent improvement in attendance by member season ticket holders and a 14 per cent improvement in the sale of tickets.

During this period the advance notice with which members have released their seats has doubled. However, Barcelona said the average number of member season ticket holders who neither attend a match or release their seat for resale is still approximately 20 per cent for each match.

With the aim of taking further steps to improve attendance at Camp Nou, the board has approved that the amount charged per released seat will now be linked to the seat’s public retail price, and not the price paid by the member season ticket holder. Member season ticket holders will receive 50 per cent of the price, once VAT and service charges have been deducted.

The remaining parts of the Seient Lliure program will be maintained for 2018-19. Member season ticket holders who release their seats more than 20 days in advance of a given match, besides guaranteeing the amount stipulated for their seat, will continue to enjoy a 20 per cent bonus added to the amount settled. For season ticket holders who release their seat more than 10 days in advance, the guaranteed payment shall be maintained, whether or not their seat is sold.

Member season ticket holders who release their seat after these deadlines will only receive payment if their seat is sold. Settlements will only be paid to a special account, which will accumulate all Seient Lliure payments through to the end of the season. The resulting amount will then be deducted from the cost of the member’s season ticket for the 2019-20 campaign.

Seient Lliure limits the amount a member season ticket holder may recoup, up to a maximum of 95 per cent of the annual cost of their season ticket.

Image: Börkur Sigurbjörnsson