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Waiting game: Are Bolton fans holding off on season ticket purchase?

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Waiting game: Are Bolton fans holding off on season ticket purchase? 17250795

Season ticket sales at Wanderers have surpassed 7,000 – but evidence suggests that some fans are waiting to take the plunge.

The club is pleased with the take-up of tickets since they were released in early February, even though numbers are marginally lower than they were at this stage last year.

Ticket prices were increased for 2024/25 but chief executive Neil Hart feels there is a chunk of the fanbase who are waiting to see how Ian Evatt’s side fare in the table by mid-April before making their purchase.

Wanderers are third in the table but have a four-point gap to make up on Derby County above them in the automatic promotion spots, and just one game in hand.

Hart feels sales have been encouraging thus far with around three weeks to go before the end of the early bird discount.

“I think we have sold just over 7,000 as things stand, and I think they have gone really well,” he told The Bolton News.

“We are maybe tracking slightly behind where we were last year but then I think there are fans who are waiting to see what happens at the end of the season, which is okay.

“The deadline for the early bird offer is April 13, the day we play Portsmouth here. I’d love to retain all the season ticket holders by that date, and if they lock in by then they get the benefits of the current price points. If it is after that it will be the increased phase two prices and they will go back on sale at the back end of April and remain so until the new season.

“There is a window and obviously two options – the 10-month Direct Debit if you tick that box – or you can pay up front.”

Wanderers face Stevenage and Bristol Rovers away, either side of a home game against Reading, before the current ticket discount expires.

The outlook could be very different by the time league leaders Portsmouth visit the Toughsheet Community Stadium, and results could well shape whether some supporters decide to buy a seat for next season.

“I think it’s understandable and we’re considerate towards it,” Hart said.

“We have three fixtures prior to the early bird offer closing and some supporters might want to see the outcome of those results. That may be the basis of their decision.

“Whatever league we are in, in my view, those seasons tickets provide great value for the top end of League One or a team in the Championship.

“We want the supporters on the journey with us. They are so important, the lifeblood of the club, and we have said that since day one.”

Wanderers will also soon send out surveys on potential safe standing areas at the stadium, with a view to installing them at the start of next season.

Hart has pledged that the club will make it as easy as possible for any supporters who are affected by the change, if the consensus is given.

He said: “If the supporters say yes, they do want it, then wherever we put the safe standing we will communicate with the supporters in that area, tell them where it is going to be, give them the option to stay in that area or move to a different one if that is their wish. What remaining seats are available we will then give supporters the opportunity to buy them.

“We will make sure that we do that from a cost neutral point of view – we won’t be charging people extra to move or be inconvenienced if you want to put it that way.

“We will be very transparent with the whole thing and have a communication line directly to those supporters.”


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