Significant number of Ipswich Town season ticket holders renew despite coronavirus uncertainty
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town have been boosted by a significant number of season ticket holders renewing their seats for next season.
The Blues have not launched their season ticket sales campaign for next season or revealed prices, given the uncertainty regarding the conclusion of 2019/20 and the start of 2020/21 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but recently offered existing ticket holders a price freeze should they renew now.
It’s understood the majority of the 8,000 ticket holders who have paid using the club’s interest free direct debit scheme have opted to continue those payments, rather than cancel, ahead of the May 7 renewal deadline, while many supporters who choose to pay for their seat upfront have also renewed.
It’s understood the Blues could potentially lose £3million during the lockdown period in the UK, when taking into account lost ticket sales for the remaining five home games of the current season, sponsorships, hospitality, retail and initial season ticket sales for next season. However, the uptake on tickets for next season could help lower that figure.
With the real possibility of matches being played behind closed doors at the start of next season, owner Marcus Evans has said season ticket holders will be given access to a live video stream of games, will be given a complimentary ticket to a home cup match and a pair of tickets to the ‘next available’ home league game for friends or family.
The Town owner has also vowed to personally donate the amount matching five per cent of all ticket income before May 7 to the NHS to be used locally.
The Blues have been looking at potential ways to protect older supporters or those with underlying health problems, if and when supporters are allowed to return to stadiums.
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Those include the possibility of designated entrances for supports, dedicated entry time slots or the prospect of dedicated areas of the stadium made available for those with concerns regarding their health.
The possibility of offering vulnerable season ticket holders the chance to watch games safely in their homes should they so wish, even once crowds are allowed back, has also been discussed, as has the potential for a ‘drive-in cinema’ style big screen on the Portman Road practice pitch for those supporters to watch from their cars.
The club are planning to launch their usual Early Bird season ticket packages once the make-up of next season becomes clearer, which they say will be offered at an ‘attractive price’ but would not include a price freeze or the additional benefits of renewing by the May 7 deadline.