We’re coming home.
The dawn of a new era in match day experience is upon us as the Parramatta Eels prepare for their new home at the Western Sydney Stadium (WSS). When the venue opens in 2019, fans will be treated to a world class facility creating unparalleled rugby league events.
Here at TCT, we reported to you about stadium design planning, which can be found here and here. We can now provide some insight about the planning that’s gone into the transition of ticketed Eels membership, and sales of new memberships to the new stadium.
Firstly, a tip of the hat to the Eels and their membership team. Not only has two years of planning gone into the WSS membership transition process, it’s taken place alongside a two year re-location to Parramatta’s temporary home at ANZ Stadium. This has been no small task, and though not all supporters have embraced playing matches out of Homebush, the small army of Eels ambassadors and the creation of a member lounge are just a couple of examples of the initiatives undertaken to make the expanses of ANZ feel like home.
In strategising the transition process, other models have been studied, including the transition of the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers to their new stadium in Perth. Lessons have been learnt, and processes fine tuned. Needless to say, plenty of thought and planning has already gone into the move, and we’re still more than 12 months out.
What has been taken into account?
There’s plenty on the table and up for grabs in such a huge task, with some considerations including:
* The total number of ticketed memberships that can be sold
* Prioritising and rewarding existing members
* Accommodating groups of members who wish to be seated together
* Choice of seating
* Allowing for changes to allocated seating
* Sales of new ticketed memberships
* Time frames for each stage of the process
* Affordable pricing
* Processes for likely sell-out events
What can members expect?
At the end of the month, the club will be contacting members to provide a detailed communication of how they can secure preferred seating at the stadium. There will be the option of forming seating groups, the allocation of a “seating group leader”, reselecting seat allocations within a timeframe, the option for members to purchase more seats before any remaining seats go on sale to the public.
In regards to timeframes, the Eels are in the unenviable position on having to rely upon not only the completion of construction, but also stadium ownership and ticketing licensing agreements yet to be finalised. With this said, the political currency afforded by the current stadium policy does suggest WSS will definitely be completed on time (we’ll let ANZ and Allianz take the fall for anything that goes astray). Hopefully there aren’t too many hold ups with any process of the construction or transition, but it’s still worth knowing the intricacies occurring behind the scenes.
Eels membership staff will also be made available to discuss any questions, but please, for goodness sake read the transition guide (see right) carefully and be prepared in order to avoid disappointment.
In short, this is a great time for the Parramatta club and its supporters. As an Eels fan, you can be excited about what’s happening on and off the field, but now you have the rare chance to even be excited about the field itself.
Through basically no cost to the average fan, other than travelling to ANZ for a couple of years (which, be honest, is not as bad as you thought it would be), we get a brand new, state of the art boutique stadium with world class ammenities and design.
Sounds like a good deal to us, and we can’t wait to move in.