This last week may have been a quiet one on the field for Millwall with this being the international break, but this was a very busy week off the field with FA cup semi final tickets going on sale.
On just the first day of sales, the Lions sold 15,000 tickets, around half of the allocation, this was a interesting figures as this more then double the season ticket holders the club has.
Surprisingly it was also around a 50% increase on an average Saturday afternoon at The Den.
So, where are all these new fans coming from? And why only for wembley? The 10,000 strong crowd usually at The Den will be found at Wembley, but there will also be 20,000 worth of “daytrippers” usually family and friends and lapsed fans who will come just because it’s Wembley.
There’s not a problem with this, but why don’t some fans come to more home games instead of the big ones?
We average around 10,000 at home, one of the lowest in the division, which of course will have an adverse effect on the team as it means a low budget, not many teams will have as a low a budget as Millwall.
We are the closest club to central London which should be a vying point when attracting people in, this seems to work. Just like at the Blackburn game – I had around 20 Norwegians behind me wearing Millwall/Norway scarfs and looking like they spent a fortune in the club shop. It seems a lot harder to attract people alot closer to home.
Lets face it, with the reputation the club has it will always struggle to pick up “Floating fans” if you’ve not been born into, or not a fan of the club, your very unlikely to go.
For families a day out at football is expensive. Where would you rather go? At Millwall where you’ll end up spending around £70 for a family of four, or go down the road to Charlton where it will be around £50 with a friendlier atmosphere?
After all, this is how Charlton get such big crowds, selling cheap tickets in the hope that floating fans and daytrippers will fill the ground. Chairman John Berylson has talked about more fans needing to come to games in order for more money to be spent.
But I feel the club could do more with ticket offers to get people in. Yes the club offer £2-£3 off a ticket if bought in advance but I don’t think this is enough.
Why not use the Wembley euphoria in order to attract new fans?
Why not for the many Tuesday night home games we now have, thanks to the cup run, offer anyone who shows a receipt or ticket stud from Wembley 50% off all tickets bought. Or spend over over £50 on tickets and receive a free home shirt, as it’ll most likely be on sale for a tenner by the end of the season.
Just a thought…