Following our announcement last week of our on-going plans to have reduced capacity attendances at forthcoming matching at the start of the 2020/21 season, a number of supporters have raised questions to the Club and our SLO’s Mike Davis and Roger Groves which we have all responded to, however we felt it would be beneficial to show these questions with the answers given plus some others which may be relevant for our supporters in an effort to show transparency for everyone. All of our responses are based on the Social Distancing restrictions currently in place as of 22nd August 2020.
Will fans be allowed back in from the start of the season?
At this point no firm date has been put on when supporters can return to stadia, however we are planning to make sure as soon as we are given the green light we will be ready to welcome our fans back. The Prime Minister has announced that some fans are allowed from October but we are hopeful of being allowed to pilot this for our league match with Northampton on 19th September.
Will supporters have to stick to their home group or safety bubbles?
Yes as it stands social distancing rules will still apply within the stadium so you will be able to sit with those from your own household or safety bubble but larger groups will not be allowed to sit together. We continue to work on a seating plan that will accommodate as many family bubbles as we can within the stadium template of seats available that adhere to social distancing guidance.
Can supporters share cars into the stadium?
You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or support bubble please see guidance…
Will face masks/coverings be required?
Yes, facemasks/coverings will be required to be worn by all those attending matches, with the exception of those exempt from wearing them. We expect all our supporters who should wear facemasks to do so, to help minimise the spread of infection and as any breach could lead to crowds being further reduced for future games.
Will supporters be allowed to sing?
This is currently being discouraged to reduce the risk of potentially passing on the infection, we ask our supporters to be understanding that doing so means more vulnerable supporters will feel safer attending games
How will safe standing work?
Exactly the same as the normal stands, you will be assigned a standing place row and number and will be expected to remain in that place.
How will getting around the stadium and into toilets etc work?
Further plans will be announced shortly but we are working on a one way system around the stadium and into the concourse area for use of the toilets. All food and drink vendors will be outside of the ground but within the footprint of the green fence which will in effect act as the entrance to the stadium during this time. We intend not to use any turnstiles and all supporters would enter via the 4 corner gates for ease of social distancing. Ticket checks would be in place at the 3 entrances to the stadium footprint (ie Main gates, Superblues Way gates and the new gates at the footpath between Lidl and the Community Football Hub (Former Powerleague) and then scanned at the 4 corner gates to gain entry.
Will buses still be running to and from games?
Yes we hope to have all buses running but services may be reduced. We encourage those who take private coaches to games to check with the organiser as buses also have to have social distancing in place. The club will publish further details once formalised.
Do season ticket holders need a physical ticket and why are tickets required for season ticket holders?
Yes, however we will have the normal ‘print at home option as well as the options to have tickets emailed to your email address to be printed off. We also are hoping to have the ability for a digital ticket to be sent to supporters smartphones/mobile wallets with a QR code on the ticket to be scanned on entry, To allow us to get as many people into the stadium as possible we will be asking ST holders to print off or obtain a physical ticket from the ticket office confirming their attendance by a specific date prior to the game, if not taken up their place will then be put back to allow a others to obtain/purchase a ticket and attend. In short by doing this its much easier and quicker for us to check tickets as it also takes away the chances of someone bringing an invalid season ticket. Also as its unlikely you will be sitting in your normal seat the ticket will have your seat details to make life easier for the supporter.
Will the away end be open?
Currently there are no plans to allow away fans into most grounds, so it would make sense for us to utilise the seats in the away end for home supporters to try and accommodate as many of our fans as possible.
Will I be able to sit in my normal seat?
Unfortunately not we are having to undertake strict restructuring of the seating plan to get as many supporters into the ground as we can, we understand your frustrations but at this time getting loyal fans back into the ground is paramount. Because of social distancing some seats will not be available so it is most unlikely that ST holders will be able to select their normal seat
Will there be hand sanitiser at the ground?
As with most locations we will be supplying hand sanitizer stations throughout the ground
Will the club shop be open on a match day?
Due to restrictions with the size of the Club Shop whilst we intend to open it on matchdays it is likely that this will be on a one person at a time basis therefore we would encourage supporters to shop on our Club shop website at https://shrewsshop.co.uk to avoid queues at the Shop on matchdays.
Will the fanzone be open on a match day?
This is under review at present however we are trying to formulate plans to utilise the outside area of the Fanzone, plus we are looking at potential plans to use the area behind the away stand as an extended fan zone.
How early will I need to get to the stadium?
At present we intend that there will be no access to the stadium footprint(outer stadium green fence) prior to 2 hours before kick off with stadium access gates open 90 mins before as normal
However we would encourage supporters not to leave it until the last minute as the entry process will be slower than normal for social distancing.
Will the match be available on a live stream?
The EFL are planning to offer all league games as a live stream on the ifollow platform to all supporters which appeared to work well for the culmination of the 2019/2020 Championship season. It is likely the cost for this will be £10 for a single matchday pass and the EFL are also looking at options to offer this as a season pass etc. As a worst case scenario should we not be able to accommodate all season ticket holders in the stadium (hopefully that is not the case) then any season ticket holder would be offered a free streaming pass instead.
Will season ticket holders be able to choose their seats for more than one match at a time?
This is unclear at present however we hope to be able to offer more than one game to make life easier for season ticket holders.
If a season ticket holder normally car shares with someone with a stadium parking pass but with social distancing now needs to come in their own vehicle will there be available parking for additional cars?
It may depend on availability as the car park is normally more or less sold out but hopefully we may be able to make some extra spaces available as with a lower attendance there hopefully will be some available spaces for the season.
Will permit holders from last year be able to purchase the same parking space for the new season?
Yes we have held off selling stadium car park spaces until we knew what was happening with crowds but have now arranged the new passes and as soon as available for sale we will publicise through our media channels.
Do season ticket holders have to pay anything for getting their match tickets?
No this will be free of charge and no booking fee, only cost would be attributable if the ticket is required to be posted.
Will there be a ticket collection point to pick up tickets on the day?
We are currently reviewing this as any ticket collection points would need to be outside of the stadium footprint. We would encourage all supporters to get their tickets well in advance of matches to avoid queues on the day.
Will I be able to buy a pint at the mobile catering units?
This is under consideration just now it may be easier for the mobile catering units to just offer plastic bottles of beer as this would speed up service when social distancing will be required to be in place to ease any subsequent queues and delay of service.
Are we doing temperature checks on entry to the stadium?
This is currently under review
Will the normal coach services from outlying areas and town centre/Shirehall shuttle bus be available as normal?
We have been in touch with some of the normal supporters coaches which travel to home games and will continue to support them with access and parking etc. Obviously anyone travelling in coaches would require to social distance and wear a face mask as per government guidelines. In relation to the normal town centre/Shirehall coach we are hoping to have this operational as normal again subject to social distancing and the wearing of facemasks on the coach.
What are the chances of the first League One home match v Northampton Town on 19th September being able to be used as a pilot for reduced capacity attendances?
The EFL are in regular contact with government and relevant stakeholders with the hope that all Football Clubs can pilot a home game either on the weekend of 19th or 26th September with reduced capacity. They are still waiting on confirmation that these can go ahead which would allow us to have Season Ticket holders in for the first league match. All of our efforts are concentrated on having everything in place so that if the green light is given we are ready to admit fans.
Will the ticket office be open for Season Ticket holders to come and get their ticket(s)?
Yes the Ticket office will open however this may be on reduced hours to save costs for the Club and also we hope that as many as possible can select tickets online as with social distancing guidelines it is likely we will only be able to open two windows so where possible online would ease any queues and delay in getting your tickets.
I am a CAT ‘A” season ticket holder will I be able to get priority for CAT ‘A” seats that are available?
We have been in discussions with Ticketmaster to try and accommodate this as best we can. It would be possible to restrict certain CAT ‘A” blocks only to CAT ‘A” season ticket holders on a first-served basis but due to the restricted number of seats in each Block it may not be possible to satisfy every CAT “A” season ticket holder however we will do all we can to assist.
What is the maximum bubble size you intend allowing for?
We have looked at this closely on our ST holder database and have decided to make the maximum bubble size 5 people which we will have a limited number, as the most available seats will be single seats and pairs. We appreciate that there may be groups of more than 5 but we hope that by accommodating up to 5 then at worst families of season ticket holders who normally come in bubbles of more than 5 will understand we can't help every scenario but by offering larger bubbles as an option people can hopefully still be with family members and close by others.
The government guidelines allow two households to meet outside can we sit together at the match?
No. The government guidelines allow 2 households to meet however they are still required to social distance and therefore cannot sit together. However if someone living alone from another household but is in your extended social bubble would be allowed to sit with you.
Do children also require where possible to wear masks?
We are treating this the same as guidelines for shops whereby it is not compulsory for children aged under 11 to wear facemasks and this would be at the parents/guardian discretion. However we hope most adults etc will follow the guidance and wear facemasks to games to ensure to minimise any potential spread and also to keep all of our supporters safe.
Why is singing not allowed?
There is a concern that singing could be the biggest chance of spread of infection of COVID-19 at football matches therefore the guidelines which we are working to require Clubs to discourage singing to minimise spread of the disease
What are the chances of being able to go to any away matches this season?
At present most Clubs will likely be the same as ourselves and require every stand and available seat to accommodate season ticket holders rather than some missing out and having away fans. However there could be some stadiums which can satisfy all their season ticket holders and still have available space for visiting fans. At present this is unknown. Looking to the future we all hope that the pandemic continues to be beaten and over time guidance is relaxed slowly to be able to get all supporters back into stadiums including away fans however from STFC’s point of view we do not see us allowing any away fans until such times as we are back at full capacity.
Will season ticket holders who prefer not to come to home league matches be offered a free streaming pass and how would I get this?
Yes. Any season ticket holder who prefers to have a streaming pass free of charge rather than come to any gamse should contact the Club at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thereafter any who prefer this option will be emailed a unique code to give them a free live stream of the home League matches.
Will non-season ticket holders be able to pay for live streams of STFC matches home and away in the UK?
Yes all matches will be available to purchase at £10 via ifollow both in the UK and across the world whilst Clubs cannot have full capacity stadiums.
Does the money from purchasing streaming passes at £10 per match come to STFC?
For home matches all Shrewsbury Town fans buying a match, the income comes to ourselves (less VAT etc) and the agreement that is in place for away fans buying match passes is that the home club will also receive the revenue from away sales in lieu of how many away supporters would normally attend. Eg If Portsmouth brought 1,500 fans to Shrewsbury last season then for Shrewsbury v Portsmouth the first 1,500 streams Portsmouth fans purchase this revenue would come to STFC and any more sales than 1,500 would go to Portsmouth FC and vice versa for the away fixture at Portsmouth.