NEXT HOME GAME: The Braehead Clan host Manchester Storm in Elite League action NEXT SATURDAY (7:00pm face-off). Tickets are available NOW via TICKETMASTER, by calling 0844 499 1700 or direct at the Braehead Arena box office.

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone is well and is into the swing of the new season. We’ve already seen some very exciting hockey, I thought our game against Fife was a superb spectacle once again, a credit to both organisations and the EIHL as a whole. Once the team settles and all the guys get to know their roles and the systems Ryan wants them to play, I’m in no doubt we’ll be a very competitive hockey club.

I want to mention a couple of matters in this blog and I will start with the ticketing situation. As the majority of you will all know, we worked with the Arena during the summer to implement a new system for season ticket holders to purchase their pre-season and Challenge Cup tickets. The old process of season ticket holders having to come to the Arena box office, in this digital age, really wasn’t acceptable. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Arena management for coming up with the platform that we are now currently using, it’s certainly a step forward for everyone concerned. I appreciate there have been some ‘teething’ issues, which we were always going to get when implementing such a complex system. Apologies to anyone who has been affected by seating issues, we are working with the Arena on these issues on a day to day basis to ensure they are minimised and eventually eradicated. I’ve been asked recently why we haven’t got the same Ticketmaster system that is used by the Belfast Giants. This allows the customer to manage the whole season ticket process via a Ticketmaster platform. It’s certainly something we’d like to progress to, along with the Arena, we’ve met with senior Ticketmaster representatives and looked at that very platform. Unfortunately it’s a substantial five figure investment for either the club or the Arena, and it’s something that isn’t financially sustainable at the current time.

I appreciate there has been a lot of frustration in the fan base regarding the season ticket card change over on Saturday. Please be assured this isn’t something we wanted to have to do! To explain the situation, we only found out recently that was an issue with a number of barcodes on the back of the season ticket cards – the card company hadn’t printed them correctly. Following consultation with the Arena and Ticketmaster, we concluded the only option we had was to replace every single season ticket card. This gave us a very narrow window to get replacement cards turned around to allow season ticket holders access to the game v Nottingham on Saturday. The cards didn’t arrive into us until Thursday, they needed to be tested, hence left us with very little option other than a collection on Saturday. If we’d been able to get them in sooner, alternative arrangements would certainly have been made to get them out to all season ticket holders. I totally appreciate this situation wasn’t ideal at all and apologies if it inconvenienced anyone, however all avenues were investigated and this was the only viable option with the time frames we have to work within. Thanks to the Braehearts for managing and making the handover a smooth process. With the growth of the amount of season ticket holders + the feedback that we’ve had over the summer, I can assure you we’ll be looking to make improvements and advancements to the process ahead of 2017/18 applications.

Many of you will also have noticed a change in DJ this season with Jonny Orr no longer with us on game nights. In my opinion, Jonny was the best hockey DJ around and has been an integral part of the growth of the club’s match night package from day one. Unfortunately Jonny came to me during the summer and explained that he couldn’t give full commitment this season for varying reason’s. Obviously we need continuity every single week, so it was disappointing to lose Jonny, but we wish him all the best proceeding forward. Andy Goldberg has stepped into the role, he has the club’s full backing as it’s a very important role within our match night package. Please be patient with him, he’s new to the role, it’s a very stressful job that I am in no doubt he will excel in.

We’ve had three very impressive attendances to start the season with, however we’re not willing to rest on our laurels. There are still seats left to sell in the building, and until we’re full every single week we’ll not be satisfied. One of the major reason’s we’ve been able to improve the calibre of players coming to the club, season on season, is down to the growth in the Purple Army. That will continue to be the case and if we want to continue keeping pace with the likes of Belfast, Nottingham and Sheffield we constantly have to look at generating revenue and growth. So don’t forgot, everyone has a major part to play – invite your family, friends, work colleagues, next door neighbours etc etc along to a game. Tickets are on sale now for the visit of Manchester this coming Saturday via Ticketmaster or via 0844 499 1700.

Lastly I thought the atmosphere was superb in the Arena for our game v Fife recently. Certainly the best I’ve seen and heard since joining the club. Credit to everyone for making that happen, it’s certainly has a very positive impact on the vibe around the club and certainly helps the players on the ice.

 

Thanks for your continued support!

Gareth Chalmers

Hockey & Operations Director