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Barrow Raiders

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That’s great, hope it pays off.
 

It would be superb for there to be a Cumbrian club in SL one day and Barrow as the biggest of the three RL towns could have the best chance to do it. 

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Bold moves!

Every single rugby league junior in Canberra can see every Raiders game for free. They drag their fee paying parents in who then buy chips, drinks, pies etc.

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Really good to see a club trying things like this.

Edited by gingerjon
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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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This is awesome. I hope it pays off for them. And I hope other clubs follow suit.

I take my kids to a few Fev home matches a season at £5 per child per game, plus money spent on food and drinks for them. If they had free entry, I'd take them to most if not all of the matches. The likelihood of them becoming season ticket holders as adults increases the more games I take them to, so the question is are clubs willing to invest for those longterm returns?

Edited by hrtbps
grammar
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With the uneasiness around the TV negotiations and the likelihood of Barrow getting promoted to the Football League, the Raiders being proactive instead of reactive is good to see. 

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Under 16s going free at York Knights has worked well over the years it has been done at the club. Also if you buy the ticket through the club for the away league game they will keep that free too. I personally think free tickets to under 16s is a great idea and a good way to build your fanbase

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I know it’s foolish to compare football and RL, but in the late 90s Norwich did kids for a quid, which was excruciating at times as for example you’d get high pitched cheers when the Man Utd score came up at half time but roll on ten years to 2009 and we were packing the ground out 25k average even in League One, and still are, and we are relatively free of local fans of the big clubs, the vast majority of people in Norfolk support Norwich. A lot of this is down to the kids for a quid initiative I think, as it got kids in the ground instead of watching other teams on TV and they now still go as adults, and take their own kids with them. It’s good that Barrow are trying the same thing. 

Edited by Eddie
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Good move as it’s not simply a case of opening the gates and saying ‘free admission’, there’s a bit of strategy involved. I’m not sure if there would be any knock on effects for ST holders though. 

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6 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

The Toronto effect?!

Toronto hasn't gone quite this far. Kids 5 and under are always free and we have one game each season where all kids are free. We haven''t offered anything like the family food vouchers, which is a great idea.

What this has in common with Toronto is understanding that clubs need to get new young fans interested in the game, even if they show up the first time only interested in a bag of crisps and a coke. Enjoying the game, chatting with a favourite player, will all come later.

Fantastic initiative, well done to Barrow and good luck.

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Broadly speaking, I do worry about us cheapening the product and think we have done a bit much of that in the past.

Saying that, we need to do something and can't keep doing as we have done and hope to grow, especially at Championship and League 1 level. This is going to be especially true as we go in to 2021.

It seems a sensible time for a reboot. Barrow should have a winning team this year, making it a good time to try and attract new fans. So you've got the welcome the ambition and initiative and I hope it pays off.


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6 hours ago, Johnoco said:

I’m not sure if there would be any knock on effects for ST holders though. 

Yeah... I've now got to smuggle my cheese and onion sandwiches into the ground like a mobile phone into a prison 😯

 

In all seriousness, I think there will be a bit of resentment to this. Especially those who pay for a ST at last years prices / contribute to the 1895 fund / 250 club. You're talking £350 there for 10 games. Working that out per game makes sad reading. But that's not a reason to stop others enjoying the game... and I choose to pay a lot of that

 

For this to work it needs a couple of things

 

1) The club has been dropping STs off at schools over the last week. The kids will get them, take them home and then promptly forget about them by the following day. It needs constant engagement with the community. Kids aren't going to pester their family to take them to something they're not interested in. Even if it's free.

Basically I have no quarms with kids getting in free. Letting adults in for free if they bring 10 kids or giving that adult a £5 voucher for just bringing two kids needs to work financially. I would have an issue subsidising people coming through the gate just because they can round up two U16s. Obviously the thinking is that people will spend £££ on food / drink. So...

2) I think they've massively over estimated how much people will spend. The adults will see through it pretty quick if they're dumping money into the snack bar every Sunday. Most of the groups of older kids I see around the ground don't seem to be spending money.

And why would they?! The food and drink offerings are massively sub par for 2020. Old school burger and chips ect. Pretty rough coffee. Lager / bitter in the bar. The football club have made an effort in this area and it has worked. Be a little creative and people will spend money. Get a local brewery / food stall / caterer in for the day with a little pop up stand. Keep it changing throughout the season.

You're always going to struggle getting a ton of money through the bar on a Sunday afternoon too.

 

3) Getting in for free if you turn up before a "curtain raiser" every home game is a step too far in my mind. 

Edited by NWDuk
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57 minutes ago, NWDuk said:

Yeah... I've now got to smuggle my cheese and onion sandwiches into the ground like a mobile phone into a prison 😯

 

In all seriousness, I think there will be a bit of resentment to this. Especially those who pay for a ST at last years prices / contribute to the 1895 fund / 250 club. You're talking £350 there for 10 games. Working that out per game makes sad reading. But that's not a reason to stop others enjoying the game... and I choose to pay a lot of that

 

For this to work it needs a couple of things

 

1) The club has been dropping STs off at schools over the last week. The kids will get them, take them home and then promptly forget about them by the following day. It needs constant engagement with the community. Kids aren't going to pester their family to take them to something they're not interested in. Even if it's free.

Basically I have no quarms with kids getting in free. Letting adults in for free if they bring 10 kids or giving that adult a £5 voucher for just bringing two kids needs to work financially. I would have an issue subsidising people coming through the gate just because they can round up two U16s. Obviously the thinking is that people will spend £££ on food / drink. So...

2) I think they've massively over estimated how much people will spend. The adults will see through it pretty quick if they're dumping money into the snack bar every Sunday. Most of the groups of older kids I see around the ground don't seem to be spending money.

And why would they?! The food and drink offerings are massively sub par for 2020. Old school burger and chips ect. Pretty rough coffee. Lager / bitter in the bar. The football club have made an effort in this area and it has worked. Be a little creative and people will spend money. Get a local brewery / food stall / caterer in for the day with a little pop up stand. Keep it changing throughout the season.

You're always going to struggle getting a ton of money through the bar on a Sunday afternoon too.

 

3) Getting in for free if you turn up before a "curtain raiser" every home game is a step too far in my mind. 

I've already had someone in our office at work say they are taking the kids to the Coventry game because they have brought home their season tickets. They have never been to an RL game before. 

When I was a school kid the season tickets were £30 for home and away games and there seemed to be a lot more kids at games. I remember playing on the pitch after games with 20 or 30 school kids pretty much religiously after every week. We need to get back to those days. 

The club is trying to get involved as much as possible in the community which is vital to long term sustainability of crowds. It is a lot easier to get sponsorship when the club is seen at the heart of the community and especially when it involves children. The amount of things for to for children in Barrow is pretty scarce so if the club is seen to be providing something it makes it significantly more attractive for a local business to sponsor which will dwarf any lost revenue short term. If you implement any form of change people always object no matter what it is. 

I will be surprised if the overall game day experience is not on the agenda of the board. The message has been pretty clear that the vision is focusing on the long term. Getting as many people as possible involved with the club be it attending games, doing community work, attracting sponsorship and broadening the range of businesses we deal with is essential to ensure this. 

Or we can do what us and Barrow football have done for the whole of the 21st century and rely on good results to get our crowds up which bring in 2000 - 3000 when we are winning then watching the crowds drop to 1000 when we don't win as much. Surely its a good thing that the clubs are trying to change this? 

Edited by RSN
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I'm 100% behind the free kids tickets. 

I can't see that letting adults in for free and giving out free vouchers for food will balance out.

Improve the game day experience. Improve the food. Improve the drink. Then people will pay for it.

 

Response from the football....

Screenshot_20200227-205517_1.png

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This is great from Barrow and I fully applaud what they are doing. A point of note though (and not wishing to take anything away from Barrow) is that there are quite a few other clubs that let kids in free. The Bears as an example let under 12s in free. 

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1 hour ago, NWDuk said:

I'm 100% behind the free kids tickets. 

I can't see that letting adults in for free and giving out free vouchers for food will balance out.

Improve the game day experience. Improve the food. Improve the drink. Then people will pay for it.

 

Response from the football....

Screenshot_20200227-205517_1.png

Time will tell I guess with the above points. 

AFC have let kids in for free this season and cut price tickets to boost attendances. Their crowds are just boosted on the fact Barrow folk like watching winning teams. If the team stops winning the crowds plummet. We have 20 years of data to back that up. At least the rugby are trying to change it. 

At the end of the day the response has been absolutely fantastic from the wider sporting community and hopefully it pays off. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, OriginalMrC said:

This is great from Barrow and I fully applaud what they are doing. A point of note though (and not wishing to take anything away from Barrow) is that there are quite a few other clubs that let kids in free. The Bears as an example let under 12s in free. 

Under 16s let in free at Crusaders.

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I always think Ealing could replicate what Lamport had with microbrewery specialist beer food offerings along the far side of the pitch. Sell it almost as a beer festival then. Espevially when the warm weather comes out could be great

I guess Trailfinders would lose out on the bar though so probably won't happen

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