Borussia Dortmund have reportedly cancelled the season tickets of around 500 fans who did not attend a minimum of 7 of their 17 league games.
This last season Arsenal have suffered from empty seats at the Emirates. This is not unsold seats, but unused purchased tickets – many of which are season tickets.
There are many stories floating about of fans who have an empty seat next to them for every game except for the big ones.
Whether these are “fans” who have enough money to miss the majority of games and do not really care; or touts who can make up to £500 a ticket for the big games not being bothered to sell the lesser games for £30. Either way it an issue which Dortmund have shown can be dealt with.
It would not be too hard to create a fair and reasonable criteria that is inserted into the terms & conditions of buying a ticket. This could include:
- A season ticket must be used at least 10 times during a season (26 home games / 38%)
- A season ticket is considered “used” if it is posted on he Ticket Exchange – regardless of whether it has been sold
- The club will issue a warning if a season ticket is used less than 10 times over a season. If it occurs for 2 consecutive season; the owner relinquishes their right to be able to renew
- In the unlikely event that a fan is long term sick and unable to make 10 games for 2 consecutive season and unable to post tickets for sale on the ticket exchange, they must inform the club. The club reserves the right to request medical records as proof
If the club introduced this criteria, it would ensure those “fans” who have season tickets with no intention of going to the majority of games would no longer keep their season ticket.
It would encourage fans to sell tickets on the ticket exchange if they are unable to attend – ensuring that there seat is filled by someone else.
It also created the caveat allowing for long term illness. Although true fans who are ill for 2 years and unable to attend would likely end up renting out the season ticket elsewhere.
Arsenal should seriously consider implementing this criteria to ensure the stadium remains full when sold out, and more tickets filter down to fans who want to go.
It is our understanding that the club if further investing in the ticket exchange, allowing it to remain open closer to the game. They should also make the Arsenal app easier to buy tickets on.
Alongside the ticket exchange, the club should create a “donate tickets” where fans can donate their unsold ticket to to local children or charities.
Whilst we understand that this would put pressure on Guardians, coaches or teachers to be supervising children outside of normal, we are sure that a free ticket to The Arsenal would outweigh this.
You could have a “donate tickets” option on the ticket exchange which is available regardless of whether or not a game has sold out; with the option closing 2 weeks before the game to enable the school or charity the time to request tickets and organise who is going.
As with anything Arsenal related, you will have fans complaining. You can not please all the people all the time. But the clubs priority should be to have the stadium as full as possible; even if that means removing season tickets off fans who are missing 60% of games.