At the end of the first day of reservations for our existing Season Ticket holders we spoke to chief executive Nigel Clibbens to get an update on where we currently stand.
“This has been a unique set of circumstances,” he said. “It’s been extremely hectic and I want to pay tribute to the staff for their hard work, and the fans for their patience.
“I know from speaking to some supporters that they have had long waits in phone queues, and we are sorry for that.”
“As the capacity in the seats reduced, the time to relocate fans and agree their next preference took longer and longer as the options got squeezed,” he explained. “The phone queue reached its maximum and some fans could not get through.
“We then had an issue where the ticket provider’s IT servers went offline for half an hour, which was another complication to add into the mix.
“Everyone had to adapt to all of this, and I’m pleased overall with how it went.”
“To deal with this situation we moved to take reservations by email for terraced tickets, with club staff taking calls the phone queue couldn’t hold, informing fans that we would ring them back later,” he continued.
“I spoke to a number of supporters on the phone, and communicated with others via email. The media team answered questions on social media, and the fans were excellent, mostly in good spirits, and we thank them for their support.
“The staff stayed behind until after 7pm to process all remaining emails and to return phone calls … and we are now in a position to start afresh on Friday morning.”
Overall we have made over 800 ticket reservations today.
For context, last year this number would be equivalent to one week of sales.
As a result we have no capacity in B, C or D stands.
This means the only available seats are in A stand and the Pioneer Stand [EWM has been set aside for commercial and hospitality].
The central area of Pioneer Stand section 6 is quite full, but other areas have good availability in that stand.
There is good availability in the Paddock and plenty of space in the Warwick Road End.
“We have now seen how supporters have been reserving their places, and the group sizes,” he continued. “We always knew that until that happened, we would be unable to predict capacities.
“We have now seen that our seating availability has been used very quickly with small groups and pairs, and we are faced with areas where only single fans can sit.
“In the coming days we will need to look very carefully at this, with particular focus on the unused seats. This may mean that we will ask some fans who have reserved to be flexible, and move a little, to help increase capacity and reduce single seats.
“The aim, if possible, is to get as many fans into our stadium as possible. As I said earlier in the week, this is where we will need your understanding and cooperation.
“Tomorrow the phone lines open again, along with the main ticket office, at 10am.
“We ask those fans who want to reserve a place in the terraced areas to email rather than visit the club or take up a line on the phone. We will have staff dedicated to dealing with emails.
“This will free up specialist staff to deal with the seating areas.
“Thank you all, once again, for the patience, understanding and support you are showing during what is a unique and difficult period for all concerned.”
Email address for terraced reservations: email@example.com
Seated phone reservation number: 0330 094 5930 (option 1)