Premier League football club Brentford has frozen its ticket prices for the 2023-24 season and has also introduced a new ‘every seat counts’ policy, in a bid to fill its Gtech Community Stadium (pictured) for all league home games.
The club has said that there will be a new 10-month in-house direct debit scheme to allow fans to spread the cost. Brentford said that it will remain one of the cheapest places to watch Premier League football, with a standard ‘band B’ adult season ticket equating to roughly £24 (€27/$29) per match.
“We are very mindful that the cost-of-living crisis is biting hard for people across the country and within our communities,” said Jon Varney, chief executive of the club. “Ensuring that football remains affordable and accessible is really important for us and our fans. That’s why we have frozen prices and introduced a new direct debit scheme.
“When we set out to review our plans for next season we wanted to consider ways to grow our revenue but avoid inflationary price increases. We also received representations from our fans on this point. I hope that the outcome of this work can ease the financial pressures which many are facing.”
Brentford has also revealed it will be partnering with Ticketmaster Sport from this summer, which will provide ticketing services and deliver a new online ticketing platform for the club.
Varney added: “Using the feedback we received from our fans and from our staff, we reviewed a number of options in the market and we felt that Ticketmaster was best placed to provide the solution we needed.
“We believe that their platform will make it easier for our fans to buy tickets and manage their ticketing accounts. Their Ticket Exchange in particular was one feature that we were impressed with. It’s intuitive and easy to use – and this will be really important for us as we look to maximise seat occupancy going forward. Season ticket renewals will be handled via our existing system and we will transition to Ticketmaster in the summer.”
Every seat counts
Brentford has also said that it will be tackling the issue of unused, empty seats at the 17,250-capacity Gtech Community Stadium, and limiting the access of away fans in home sections. Brentford revealed that on average, there are roughly 1,000 unused season ticket-holder seats every game.
Varney said: “We understand that not everyone can come to every game, but it is essential that if fans can’t make it, another Bees fan can attend in their place. So, from the 2023-24 season we are introducing a new ‘every seat counts’ policy.”
Brentford is set to introduce a yellow card system, which will see a season ticket-holder receive a yellow card if they fail to use their ticket for a league match. Season ticket-holders that receive four yellow cards by the next renewal date in March 2024 will lose the automatic right to renew their season ticket for the 2024-25 season.
To avoid receiving a yellow card, season ticket-holders must use their ticket by attending the game and having it scanned; transferring the ticket to another Brentford supporter and having it scanned on entry; listing the ticket on the Ticket Exchange before 10am on the day of the match and listing the ticket on the Exchange after the 10am deadline but it sells before kick off. However, if it does not sell, the holder will receive a yellow card.
There are exemptions for fans with carers and those under 18, and all decisions will be subject to an appeals process.
Varney said: “The atmosphere at the Gtech Community Stadium is fantastic but imagine what it could be like with an extra 1,000 fans in the stadium each week? We want the Gtech to be as loud and as full as possible. Fans have their role to play in backing the team, it does make a difference. The players have said it. Thomas Frank has said it. Every seat counts.
“We also know that there are thousands of Bees fans, your friends and your relations, desperate to come along to a game. We want to give them the best opportunity we can to attend. It’s important to remember that as well as creating a better atmosphere, by using the Ticket Exchange, Season Ticket Holders will also receive a pro-rata refund in cash for tickets sold.”
Varney added: “This policy goes hand-in-hand with the price freeze. We are very mindful of the current financial challenges that our fans are facing. But we also need to grow our revenues given the fierce competition to thrive in the Premier League. We need to grow the club in line with football’s financial regulations against other clubs who have more established revenue streams, larger fan bases and different ownership structures. Simply put, increasing stadium occupancy will help us compete.”