Stoke City confirms innovative season ticket schedule to return fans to bet365 Stadium
Today, Stoke City is announcing plans to bring supporters back to the bet365 Stadium – with an innovative 11-game ticket solution to a unique situation.
The club is to refund supporters who bought a 2020/21 season ticket before being taken off sale when the Covid-19 pandemic stopped everything in the spring.
It will now offer half-price season tickets instead, which will provide entry to half of the league games. Matches will be divided because demand will outstrip supply due to a significantly reduced capacity ranging from 6,000 to 9,000.
Fans will be able to select either the ‘red list’ or the ‘white list’ to cover an approximately equal mix of critical fixtures, mid-week and Saturday games. A maximum of two households will be able to sit in groups of up to six people.
Current regulation guidelines will allow fans to return on Saturday, October 3 from next month, starting with the campaign’s second home league game against Birmingham City.
Stoke hopes to get the green light to stage a test event at their first Championship home game on Saturday, September 19, with an even smaller crowd. This awaits approval by both national and local authorities.
The 2019/20 season ticket holders will be able to reserve their seat for 2021/22 – when things are hopefully nearer or back to normal – regardless of whether they are currently attending matches.
All four stands are awaited to be used, and for the foreseeable future, possibly the entire season, there will be no away supporters allowed.
The plan took weeks of consultation between Stoke and the council of fans, as well as help from the Sports Ground Safety Authority, the local safety advisory group and EFL.
Engineers and experts in health and safety are reviewing contests, turnstiles, toilets, entry and exit points, and everything else to determine precisely how many people can be allowed in a while adhering to social distance.