Final season at Griffin Park/Looking ahead to the new stadium Fan Consultation Group Meeting Seven – key discussion points
Mark Devlin (MD)
David Hayes (DH)
Ryan Murrant (RM)
Sally Stephens (SS)
Minutes of last meeting and action points/update
MD welcomed new members to the group.
MD reviewed the action points from the last meeting.
New stadium update
SS provided a brief recap on progress on the new stadium over the last year – for the benefit of those new to the meeting. She went on to note that our development partner Be Living Ltd has a new name – EcoWorld London (as of 8 June 2018). The company continues to be owned 70 per cent by the Malaysian company EcoWorld International and 30 per cent by Willmott Dixon. EcoWorld London is aiming to deliver 10,000 new homes across London and the south east at 12 sites (including ours) and has already been involved in delivering 3 developments across London in partnership with Ballymore.
More than 400 of the 611 piles are now in place and the steel for the stadium frame is currently being fabricated in Northumberland. The bridge across Capital Interchange Way will be constructed over the summer and lifted into place in the autumn by the UK’s largest crane.
We’ve had good recent good meetings with South Western Railways who are keen to work with the Club to understand the need for any additional trains on matchdays. This follows positive action taken in December last year to reverse a proposal to reduce the number of trains stopping at Kew Bridge station – as a result of feedback from the Club and others to their public consultation.
A short two-minute construction video was shown (with indicative dates) that provided a step-by-step view of how the stadium and the associated residential homes will be built.
MD provided a brief update on ticketing for the new stadium. We are close to finalising the legals for a Reservations Centre close to the new stadium, with Premium seats going on sale in the autumn. The on sale date for Season Tickets is still to be confirmed but priority access will be given to those who have been a Season Ticket Holder for six continuous seasons – with the sequence within that group being decided by the number of Ticket Access Points. There will be a 3D ‘View from Seat’ tool released to help supporters decide where they would like to sit at the new stadium. Group purchases will be welcomed at the Reservations Centre and we will be encouraging fans that want to sit together to organise themselves and select a Group Leader to represent them.
Q1: Will people be able to move around at the new stadium if they don’t like where they are sitting?
A: Yes, the new stadium is very different so we realise that fans might change their minds about where they want to sit. We will endeavour to support fans if they want to change their seat.
Q2: Will I be buying a Season Ticket across the two stadia?
A: Yes, we are still targeting a mid-season move in December 2019 (basically just the earliest date that the new stadium can be ready) and will be helping fans to decide where they want to sit at the new stadium with their Season Ticket covering both stadia. We will be sending out an ‘Expression of Interest’ survey over the coming months to help us understand more about fans’ likely choices at the new stadium.
Q3: How will the price of the Season Ticket be worked out across the two stadia?
A: We will need to work out a pro rata price depending on the chosen location of the seats at the two stadia.
Q4: Will Season Ticket Holders get first priority on Premium Seats?
A: Yes, we would be delighted if all our Premium Seats are filled by existing Season Ticket Holders and will ensure that they get priority before they go on general sale.
Q5: Will there be a limit on the number of additional people that I can buy Season Tickets for?
A: We are still reviewing this and will need to undertake further research with fans to ensure that we don’t displace other existing loyal supporters. However, the number of extra tickets that can be bought by a Season Ticket Holder is unlikely to exceed 2.
Q6: If I have been a Season Ticket Holder for six years but I want to buy for my son/daughter who has only been coming for four years will I be able to do that?
A: Yes, you will.
Q7: Please can we make sure that our blind supporters are properly catered for?
A: Yes, we want to ensure that our new stadium is accessible and inclusive and will make sure that extra assistance in the ticketing process is provided for those that need it.
Q8: When will the ‘View from Seat’ be available?
A: We are hoping to launch this in the next three months but rest assured that we will let all fans know as soon as it is available.
Q9: If we are successful in having a safe standing area at the new stadium, will it be unallocated as it currently is at Ealing Road?
A: We have made it clear that we would like to be a pilot Club for safe standing when we move to the new stadium. However, it’s unlikely that we will be able to follow the same rules as are in place at Ealing Road. Our Operations Team will need to confirm the rules nearer the time but it’s likely to include some form of zoned or allocated rail seats/areas.
Q10: Will there be safe standing in the Away area?
A: We do have an area that incorporate rail seats in the Away area should we be allowed to have safe standing at the new stadium.
Q11: Will there be any a concession price available in the Premium Seat areas?
A: In the area currently known as the Dugout (where we believe that most existing Season Ticket Holders might choose to buy) there will be a concession price available. However, there will not be a concession price available in the Premium Seat tiers above this.
Q12: Will it be possible to try out the Premium Seat areas before committing?
A: Assuming we have availability left, we will offer tickets on a match-by-match basis which could be purchased for this purpose – or to celebrate a special occasion such as a Birthday or Anniversary for example.
Q13: Do you have the pricing yet for the Premium Seats?
A: These have been pretty much finalised but a launch date has not yet been confirmed.
Q14: Will it be possible to organise a discounted rail ticket with South Western Railways to help encourage fans to travel by public transport?
A: Good idea - we will discuss this with South Western Railways.
Q15: Can we ensure that the sales team has some people with knowledge of Griffin Park?
A: Yes, we will be bringing in people with specific experience of selling Premium Seats at other stadia but members of our current Ticketing team will also be providing support.
Q16: Will the new stadium be cashless?
A: We are definitely keen to look at different ways that we can help to reduce queues at the new stadium – either by contactless or a card system that can be pre-loaded. The final approach is not yet confirmed.
SS provided a brief update on communications relating to the new stadium. An update on the project has been included in the next edition of Hounslow Matters that will go out to all residents within the Hounslow Borough. We are still investigating a livestreaming option for the existing webcam, which is dependent on being able to secure the appropriate broadband (fibre broadband is not currently available in the location where the webcam is currently located so we need an alternative).
SS explained that we will need to close Lionel Road South from early July through to October and we will be putting in place a communications plan around this shortly to ensure that road users are aware. The closure will not apply to pedestrians or cyclists. The road closure is necessary to allow the connection of all the various utilities to the site – something that requires a five-metre trench to be dug and is slow and complex work to undertake safely.
Focus Group plans
RM provided an update on the Focus Groups that have been set up to enable fans to get involved in a more detailed way in key areas:
- Locations and atmosphere
- New stadium events
- Farewell Griffin Park
- Family Area
- Food and beverage
MD stressed that there are some elements that have already been decided and will not be possible to change e.g. things that relate to the structure of the stadium design and the big ticket items e.g. the approach that we will take to technology overall. However, there are many other elements that can be influenced and we want to get feedback from fans on these.
More than 80 fans have already signed up to join the groups and attendees were encouraged to sign up – even if they are not able to attend every meeting of that particular group.
Please do sign up here if you would like to be involved: https://www.brentfordfc.com/news/2018/june/fans-focus-groups/
Summary of action points
- All – sign up to one (or more) of the Focus Groups at the address above.
- All – continue to feedback thoughts and suggestions via firstname.lastname@example.org
- All - if other fans would like to join this group, please also email at the address above.
Next meeting: To be confirmed – the next meeting may be held as an online forum.
Register your interest so you don’t miss any information about our new stadium.