Apologies for the delay in posting these notes, these were omitted in error. Please find below the notes from the Family Area Focus Group
BIAS attended the Family Area Focus group on the 13th March 2019. The club started with showing us the video of Woody’s story, which was later broadcast by the club on World Down Syndrome Day. Ryan Murrant gave an update on things that have been done in the current family area and also events such as the recent community takeover day.
The club confirmed that the North West corner will be used for the family area, however the exact size has not been finalised. All concourses in the family area will be internal and covered from the elements.
The expectation is that there will be more ad-hoc tickets sold for this area than season tickets. It was also noted that the most popular combination ticket was 1 adult & 1 child.
One of focuses of the evening was to ensure that we get the family area right for all ages. Ideally we need to find ways to get families in the ground earlier, but to enable this we need to have suitable facilities or entertainment.
There was a discussion about whether alcohol should not be
sold in the family area. Some members of
the group felt that was not a good idea, whilst others suggested it could be
controlled. As there was not a consensus
on this and this subject will be revisited at a later date.
Transport was also briefly discussed by the group, there was a suggestion that there should be family coaches or minibuses, which drop off and pickup points. For families wishing to cycle, the cycle racks will be located near the Community Sports Trust Offices. .
BIAS made a comment about the need to have facilities for baby changing in the Men’s toilets and not just the Women’s or Accessible toilets. The club acknowledged this and also confirmed that the toilets in the area will be at a lower heights and designed for kids.
We also raised concerns about facilities available before entrance to the stadium and made the suggestion of pop up areas or space on the CST offices if available. This was acknowledged as a good idea. Another key point, which we also raised at the Ticketing forum, was what happens to fans when they “graduate” out of the family end? If the stadium is sold out or there is a waiting list, how do they get a seat somewhere else? Suggestions included a seat swap period during the Season Tick sales, possibly after the seat hold period. The club made a suggestion that maybe a portion of the West Stand, nearest the family enclosure, could be allocated for 13-15 year olds.
With regards to entertainment, there was lots of discussion about games consoles and having those facilities available, a suggestion was made that perhaps we should engage with Sega, considering that their offices are adjacent to where the family area will be. Away from technology and games there were suggestions for:
- Craft activities, such as colouring in etc.
- Kids match report competition
- Collectables eg like NatWest pigs
- Emirates Airlines style kids experience, toys, photo welcome etc.
- Polaroid cameras
People may be able order food and have this delivered to them by Buzz & Buzzette. There will be TV Screens showing the match if they need to keep children entertained whilst the match is in progress. There is also the ability to separate what is delivered on the digital signage in the family end so it can be different to the other areas.
Allowing the kids to meet players was deemed very important and should be possible to have a tie up with the B Team players. This would allow kids to become familiar with B Team players and follow them through to the first team. Other suggestions included postcards/stickers for players that could go on sale (eg Match Attax). This could be in the form of cards at turnstiles or the mobile app.
We agreed that allowing communication with players will be a great feature, for example a young goalkeeper could get a personal reply from Dan Bentley. There could also be coaches getting involved, either in person or via video.
There is a desire from the club to keep
the stadium open after the match, not just for revenue reasons but also to
avoid external issues such as delays to get on the train. So it is important that all entertainment is
available after the match,
Some other discussion points were:
- Giving kids the opportunity to interview players (1st or B) about the game,
- Young fans forum, similar to “Junior Question Time”.
- Join things up with BFCCST, such as training sessions in Gunnersbury Park
- How will we get access to the Sensory Room
- Outreach to schools, expand the catchment area
We felt this was a positive focus group with lots of good ideas and we look forward to next one, which is expect to be in 3-4 months.
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