6 reasons to purchase an Ipswich Town season ticket
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town season tickets are on sale. With prices frozen and a new manager now bedded in, MIKE BACON takes a look as to why you may like to purchase one.
It's often said that football is a 'results-driven' business. One can't argue too much with that.
However, football is also an entertainment business. Fans pay their money to be entertained, as well as support the team.
At Portman Road right now, both on and off the pitch, the entertainment factor is reaching levels not seen for many seasons.
The whole Portman Road match-day experience continues to improve at a rate of knots.
New owners, a new CEO and chairman and now a new manager, people pay their money for far more than just 90 minutes of football. And Ipswich Town FC are delivering.
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The Ipswich Town Fanzone was at it's very best last Saturday for the home clash with Plymouth Argyle. This is what fans enjoy.
More often than not there is live music with a band playing, and last week, on a big screen, Town legends Russell Osman, John Wark and Alan Brazil were answering questions and having some fun on what was deemed 'Paul Mariner Day'. The fans I saw were lapping it up.
Kieran McKenna's pre-match press conference was beamed to fans on the big screen, as were a selection of Mariner's greatest goals for the Blues.
After the game, it showed the England versus Switzerland game as many stayed to enjoy a drink and extend their afternoon at the club.
The Fanzone has become an integral part of the day for home fans at Portman Road.
INSIDE THE GROUND
Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton knows there is still plenty of work to be done inside Portman Road to improve the match-day experience.
But he and the club are up for the challenge.
At the recent fans' forum on Tuesday night, Ashton went to great lengths to talk about upgrading the tannoy system, putting in new dugouts, digital advertising around the perimeter of the pitch. An on-going upgrade.
There is so much that has, and continues, to be identified need doing and the club are working on making it happen. All good news for fans.
It's early days in Kieran McKenna's managerial career at Portman Road.
But for those of us who have witnessed the improvement in the team's football since his arrival just before Christmas, it's all looking very bright.
McKenna comes over as a down-to-earth young manager who won't get easily flustered and who knows how he wants his team to play.
At the fans' forum on Tuesday night, McKenna was at pains to say that he thought the style of football he was bringing to Portman Road was one that the people of Ipswich were proud of and represent the traditions of the club.
"When I was growing up, Ipswich were always known as a really good footballing team. That's something that fits in really well with my philosophy," he said.
That's something many Town fans will identify with. Town's history is as important as their future.
There is little doubt a good atmosphere at a game of football can get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up.
That's very much the way things have been progressing at Portman Road this season.
Even at the start of the campaign, when Paul Cook was manager, the atmosphere was far better than it had been for years. And that uplifting atmosphere, despite some indifferent results to begin with this season, has pretty well remained.
Quite simply, Portman Road on match day, compared to the decade just gone, is like night and day.
I think it is fair to say most Town fans are viewing the future with real positivity these days.
I speak to many people who go to Portman Road, many who are season ticket holders, and they are delighted with the way things are panning out on and off the pitch right now.
Of course, being in League One is no fun. That's the No.1 priority at the moment, getting out of this division.
But the future genuinely does look brighter than it has for many of the dark, miserable days of recent years where at times you wondered where on earth the club was going?
Mark Ashton has said that of the first 2,000 or so season tickets sold this week, 41% are to new supporters, or maybe returning supporters. How good is that?
Then again, it's not surprising. Word is getting round.