English Premier League club Brentford recently held its third fan advisory board (FAB) meeting, discussing off-pitch matters including season ticket strategy.
The meeting was attended by club executives and FAB members drawn from supporters’ groups Bees United and BIAS (Brentford Independent Association of Supporters).
Attendees discussed the club’s season ticket plans, the proposed process and timeline leading up to the 2024-25 season ticket renewal period, which will take place around March next year. A review also highlighted the changes brought in for season tickets during the 2023-24 campaign, including price freezes, the ‘every seat counts’ policy and direct debit payments.
Brentford adopted a ‘yellow card’ system as part of the new policy, which was introduced for season ticket and premium seat holders to reduce the number of empty seats at Gtech Community Stadium.
Season ticket and premier seat holders must use their seats for as many games as possible by actually attending; passing a ticket onto a guest that attends in their place; listing their ticket on the club’s ticket exchange before 10am on matchday (regardless of it selling); or listing after the 10am deadline and it is sold.
Fans are able to dispute a yellow card via email with a picture of themselves attending the offending game. At the time of season ticket renewals in the spring, there will be a separate appeals process for those that have received too many yellow cards and have lost the automatic right to renew.
Head of venue optimisation Jamal Graham revealed that the ‘every seat counts’ policy was starting to deliver key benefits with around 400-500 extra seats now being filled for games. This is down to more tickets being listed on the ticket exchange and being bought by other fans. However, some 30% of tickets are listed a day before the game with the club vowing to encourage fans to sell their seats earlier.
The number of yellow cards being withdrawn has decreased after teething problems have been resolved, with the group discussing plans for the appeals process at the end of the season. The fan representatives called for leniency to ensure long-term supporters were not prevented from renewing their season ticket.
Graham also presented data that showed the price of Brentford’s most commonly available season tickets in Band B were currently the cheapest in the Premier League.