Newcastle Falcons are aiming to offer fans an enhanced match-day experience during 2018/19 after undertaking an extensive fan survey towards the end of last season.
Looking to forge ahead off the field and ensure fans' enjoyment of games at Kingston Park Stadium increases along with the on-field development of the team, Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby season opener will see the debut of a host of improvements, while further enhancements are set to be unveiled throughout the new campaign.
Canvassing the thoughts of attendees at fixtures in 2017/18, fans fed back their opinions on the arrangements for bars and catering, retail, tickets and the stadium at large, with that feedback acted on over the course of the summer.
The main points made in regards to the stadium bar and food options were for an improvement to the speed of service and the number of food choices.
In response, the club has secured additional serving points in the stadium bowl and invested in a host of mobile units and rocket pack sellers around the ground.
Alongside the new facilities, card payments will be accepted at every service point and queuing barriers will be in place at busier games.
The move to card payments will also be in place around the food operation at the ground too, with the concourse kiosks now able to accept card payments, along with an enhanced menu which was trialled to great acclaim by season ticket members at the pre-season friendly against Nottingham.
In the shop, an additional service point along with fully stocked concessions in the South and West Stands are aimed at improving the speed of purchasing on match day, while this year’s range has been broadened.
With replica shirt prices held for a 10th consecutive season the club’s range continues to be competitively priced compared to the rest of the Gallagher Premiership, while season ticket members continue to enjoy a 10% discount on merchandise purchases.
Calls for ladies’ wear, cotton replica shirts and a wider range of accessories have been acted on, with the new-look home shirt available in this material from mid-October along with a ladies fit version of that, this season’s half-zip top, hoody and gilet.
The club has also introduced a new click and collect service for match-days, and free postage for orders over £50.
Feedback on the club’s ticketing operation highlighted the need to improve the online ticketing service, and in conjunction with platform provider Ticketmaster, assisting in rolling out interactive seating maps compatible with smart-phones and tablets, while delivery charges have also been scrapped.
Aiming to make finding supporters’ ways around the stadium clearer, the club are also installing improved signage, whilst also recruiting an army of enthusiastic volunteers to join The CAST, a new programme designed to provide friendly faces to answer any on the day questions.
With an exciting campaign anticipated on the field, the club are confident these improvements will have a positive impact on supporters match-day experience and see more and more people joining the growing Falcons family.