Evaluating and improving our match-day experience is an ongoing project at Argyle, and we have collated a great deal of feedback and data from our most recent home fixture, the sell-out against Wigan Athletic, as well as previous matches this season.
Having considered supporter feedback, we can confirm that we will be implementing a number of improvements to the match-day operations at Home Park moving forward, starting with our next home tie against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
With queueing times for entry to the Lyndhurst Stand a consistent discussion point for supporters, our stadium operations team has assigned additional resource to this area – providing appropriate stewarding levels to ensure that queues are managed proactively, and effectively. Stewarding around the entirety of the stadium will be enhanced to allow for non-invasive Proof of Covid Status checks, as required by the government.
While there is room for improvement on entry times in the Lyndhurst Stand, queueing time remains comparatively short in the Devonport End. As such, moving forward, supporters seated in blocks 5, 6 or 7 (on the Devonport End and Lyndhurst Stand corner) will be able to enter the stadium through Devonport End turnstiles if they wish to do so, with access granted by stewards to get to their seat.
These measures will have a positive impact on the way in which queues form at Argyle, but they cannot prevent bottlenecks forming on their own. Having reviewed the footage and data available to us, over 7,500 supporters arrived to queue at the turnstiles after 2.30pm for the Wigan fixture, which has a significant impact on entry flow into the stadium.
With fans continuing to arrive very close to kick-off, we reiterate our request for supporters to arrive well ahead of time – this is vital now that Proof of Covid Status checks are required by the government.
We are also working with our security team to further risk assess entry checks and security searches, based on supporter feedback. In order to assist us with improving queuing times, we ask that supporters avoid bringing bags to Home Park unless absolutely necessary.
In line with the requirements of our safety certificate, coupled with the current UK threat level, we remain obligated to ensure that appropriate security checks continue to take place.
We have reviewed feedback from supporters regarding food and refreshment kiosks inside the stadium, and continue to work to enhance the experience for fans in this area.
For supporters who are seeking a beer as part of their match-day routine, we have introduced alcohol only queues, faster payments and provided training to stewards on queue management. Meanwhile, the club has received planning permission for an external-facing kiosk in the Devonport End, which will provide another outlet for supporters seeking half-time refreshments.
As we seek to grow into a sustainable Championship club, we know that capacity attendances will become a regular occurrence. As such, we are currently in consultation with key partners regarding the prospect of installing four additional bars inside the stadium, which would go a long way to ensuring that all supporters can access refreshment kiosks during busy periods.
Thank you for your support.