Because many if not most South fans are members of our club, we don't notice the fact that at Lakeside there is a ticket surcharge by the venue's ticket operator which is added to the standard $12 fee. Never mind the fact that we don't actually get that surcharge, it's not escaped the attention of some visiting fans.
And while the variable pricing provision is not mentioned in the NPL regulations (something which really should be corrected, along with a typo in the relevant section suggesting it's still 2014), recently elected board member Nick Tsiaras was good enough to send me a copy of the memo from head of NPL Liam Bentley, which notified the NPL licensees of the change in policy, along with the rationale behind it, which you can read below.
In other words, if you rock up to Oakleigh (or any other club for that matter) this season and the pricing seems off, this is why. Let's just hope that it's not used as a means of milking South fans because we bring a few more people than most clubs.
TO: ALL NPL CLUBS
FROM: HEAD OF NPL & WPL
DATE: FRIDAY 20TH FEBRUARY
SUBJECT: NPL ADMITTANCE FEE
Good afternoon all,
After receiving feedback in relation to the setting of admission prices in the 2015 NPL Rules of Competition, FFV have reviewed Rule 12.1.2 and will vary that rule to make the admission prices referred to therein ‘recommended prices only’. Clubs will be permitted to charge other than the amount prescribed if they deem appropriate. Please note Under 14s will still enter for free.
With a focus this year on developing the best match day experience for fans at NPL matches. and bringing greater numbers of supporters through the gate, we encourage clubs to use this flexibility to find out what bests suits their club. It is important to balance a number of things, amongst others:
- The number of fans paying at the gate against the money taken in through the canteen on a match day; and
- The income from current members against the possibility of attracting long term fans to the club.
We also encourage clubs to be creative in marketing their home matches to attract new
fans, such as “bring a friend for free”, “women and kids are free” “$5 entry for everyone”, “Entry includes a drink / food” promotions and find out what works for your club.
We also remind clubs to be reasonable in their pricing structure and to not price the average NPL fan out of attending matches at your club.
This issue will be placed on the agenda at the next NPL Delegates meeting and we will track the progress of this throughout the year. There is no downside to having more people turn up at our matches and I look forward to working with everyone throughout 2015 to bring the fans back to Premier League football in Victoria.
Head of NPL & WPL