The company that runs York’s new stadium has launched a review into what went wrong with tickets for the first football game of the season.
York Stadium Management Company (York SMC) said that it is “aware of and appreciates frustrations expressed by supporters of York City Football Club in regard to stadium capacity and ticketing issues related to the forthcoming match against Kidderminster Harriers”.
It comes after YorkMix reported fans’ fury after the crowd for Saturday’s season opener against Kidderminster was restricted to around 2,000. The LNER Community Stadium capacity is 8,500.
This is because York SMC failed to comply with all the safety measures required by the Safety at Sports Advisory Group (SAG).
It meant a scramble for tickets, which saw the club’s online ticket portal crash. And hundreds of fans have been left unable to cheer on their team as they launch their new season.
A York SMC spokesperson said: “Whilst disappointed that stadium capacity has not been increased as requested, York SMC fully respect and understand the decision made by the licensing authority to maintain the restricted capacity for the fixture this weekend.
“Although recent test events demonstrated a high level of operational effectiveness in meeting stringent Health & Safety regulatory criteria, a small number of matters are still to be resolved as the stadium transitions towards full operational maturity.”
Surge for demand
Representatives from the York SAG will be at Saturday’s game “and will further evaluate the processes, plans and resources in place that meet their strict levels of licensing compliance”.
The spokesperson said: “Ticketing challenges were experienced due to a number of factors including timing of capacity recommendations by the SAG, surge for demand and an increase in supporters needing telephone assistance during the sales process.
“As a commitment towards continual performance improvement, we have initiated a review of what took place this week along with existing process and resources to learn from this situation and mitigate any potential recurrence moving forwards.
“York SMC continues to work proactively with City of York Council, SSAG, York City Football Club and York City Knights to ensure the highest standards of operational compliance are in place for the new stadium, with the ultimate aim of seeing the stadium full of fans enjoying football and rugby as soon as possible.”