Leigh Centurions have announced that when crowds are admitted back to stadia from 17 May this year, they will initially restrict admission to season-ticket holders only.
And the club has identified the protocols that will need to be in place when supporters are allowed back into their Leigh Sports Village (LSV) stadium.
“Whilst the Prime Minister stated that 50 percent of the capacity or 4,000, whichever was the lesser, would be permitted access, we must abide by the fact that he did not remove the need for social distancing at the same time as the return of spectators,” said a statement issued by the club.
“Therefore, it is the position of both LSV (Leigh Sports Village) and the club that social distancing must be adhered to until notified otherwise. To this end LSV has a restricted capacity of less than 4,000 when utilising all four stands in the stadium. With season tickets and corporate packages already purchased, it leaves the availability at 1,600.
“To enable spectators to gain entry to LSV for the club’s fixtures it is important that the Code of Conduct surrounding socially distanced crowds is strictly adhered to and that both the club and LSV can easily identify, through Track and Trace, any issues that may arise.
“To do this responsibly, to identify who is in possession of tickets and to remove the need for people having to visit the stadium to purchase tickets, the club will be restricting access during the period of socially distanced crowds to season ticket holders only until such time as full crowds are permitted. Photographic ID will need to be presented to match the name on the season ticket for us to be able to fully comply with stadium rules for Track and Trace.
“There is a significant cost to the club of operating four stands to have a crowd with a significantly reduced capacity, which it is prepared to meet for season-ticket holders. All season-ticket holders will be contacted and provided with the code of conduct and advised of the seating arrangements. They will also be provided with the procedures for visiting the stadium and be outlined what to expect on arrival and how their experience will be managed.
“Where season-ticket holders are from the same address, they will be seated together to a maximum of six. Where people have bought season tickets together but do not reside at the same address, they will be seated with the two seats space between them.
“As season-ticket sales currently stand, to reduce the risk of breaches of social distancing, the club will not operate the North Stand, although there will be no additional charges for the difference in ticketing prices and as soon as normal crowds resume the North Stand would be used. The capacity without the North Stand is circa 2,300, dependent upon bubbles created. If season-ticket sales happened to exceed this then the North Stand would need to be used. In those circumstances there are 108 season ticket holders above the socially distanced capacity of that stand.
“We would welcome contact from any North Stand season ticket holder that during social distancing would prefer to be located to a seat in the South Stand in order that we can avoid having to have a ballot rotated for each game should the North Stand be required.
“There are currently 297 spectators who generously did not claim a refund from their season ticket purchase last season that have not purchased one this season. Therefore 297 season tickets will be held from immediate sale until 5pm on Monday 1st March 2021 to provide an opportunity for those people to purchase one should they wish to do so. Those individuals will need to contact Matt Lawton the Ticket Office Manager by phone on 01942 487888 (Mon-Fri, 9-5).
“Any remaining season tickets after that time would be placed on general sale.”
“We trust our spectators will understand this position and we look forward to welcoming our season ticket holders back to the stadium in May and are hopeful that the target of 21st June will be achieved for the removal of social distancing crowds so that we can return to a normal operation of admittance and general ticket sales.”
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