Operation of the New Stand
Now that construction of the new stand is underway, we thought we would take the opportunity to announce how the stand will be operated once it is open for use, which is expected to be for the match against Curzon Ashton on Saturday 10th March. However, along with our contractors, Richardsons, we are quite optimistic it could be ready for the Kidderminster Harriers match on Saturday 24th February. We’ll make another announcement on the official website once we know for sure.
The new stand will be identical to the existing stand, having 294 seats. The new stand will bolt on to the existing stand forming a single continuous stand of 588 seats.
Darlington FC worked closely with the Darlington FC Supporters Group to decide how the seats could be best allocated, and we did this with the following objectives in mind:
- Increasing the availability of seats for those that need to sit;
- Increasing covered accommodation for wheelchair users;
- Improving the matchday experience particularly for families with young children;
- Having some seats available for ‘pay on the day’;
- Making some provision for away supporters; and
- Generating some income to assist with running costs.
Free Ground Admission for U11s!
The big news is that to make coming along to watch the Quakers more attractive for families, we are going to make admission free for accompanied children up to the age of 11 (ie Year 6 – born after 31st August 2007 for next season)*. Children in Years 7 to 11 (ie born between 1st September 2002 and 31st August 2007) will still be charged £5.
* Maximum 3 children per responsible adult
The stand will have three blocks of seats in six rows, just like the existing stand.
|Block C||Block D||Block E|
|F||Season Tickets||Family Season Tickets & Pay on the Day||Home and Away, Pay on the Day||F|
|E||Season Tickets||Family Season Tickets & Pay on the Day||Home and Away, Pay on the Day||E|
|D||Season Tickets||Family Season Tickets & Pay on the Day||Home and Away, Pay on the Day||D|
|C||Season Tickets||Family Season Tickets & Pay on the Day||Home and Away, Pay on the Day||C|
|B||Season Tickets||Comm Prog||FST/POD||Home and Away, Pay on the Day||B|
|A||Wheelchair Users||Community Programme||Wheelchair Users||A|
This will be a continuation of Block C in the existing stand. Row A will be designated for wheelchair users and their carers. Rows B to D, comprising 63 seats, will primarily be for season ticket holders. The price of a seated season ticket will be £40 higher than a standing season ticket. Any seats not reserved for season ticket holders will be available for ‘pay on the day’ home supporters.
Block D – the family block
Row A and half of row B (36 seats) will be reserved for parents and children attending as part of the Community Programme.
The other half of Row B together with Rows C to F (111 seats) will be designated for family use. A parent paying a £2 ‘stand upgrade’ will be able to take up to three children up to the age of 11 (ie Year 6) into this area free of charge. Juniors in Years 7 to 11 will be required to pay the £2 upgrade. Season tickets will be available for the Family Area. Adults would need to pay £40 to upgrade their standing season ticket to a seat. There would then be a charge of £20 per season to reserve a seat for a child/junior aged 0 to 16 (ie Year 11).
Row A will be designated for wheelchair users and their carers. The remaining 60 seats will be designated for ‘pay on the day’ adult home and away supporters. In the event of segregation, this block will be designated for away supporters only. Row A could be reserved for wheelchair users and their carers. In the event of segregation, any adult ‘pay on the day’ home supporters will be able to sit in any unreserved seats in Blocks A to C.
In view of the doubling of capacity and the fact that supporters will be able to ‘pay on the day’, it will be necessary to control access to the stand area. Anyone wishing to enter the stand area will need to present to the stewards either their seated season ticket, seated ‘upgrade’ ticket or official pass.
An unfortunate consequence of having to control access will be that any fans wishing to change ends will have to pass via the clubhouse. A recent survey by DFCSG indicated that around 70 fans changed ends via the stand, indicating the majority make the switch via the clubhouse side, probably because the toilets and bar are on that side of the ground. Hopefully fans will understand that the benefits of additional seating, particularly for younger fans who would otherwise struggle to have a decent view, outweigh the inconvenience of everyone having to change ends via the clubhouse side.
Paying on the Day
Adults, Concessions and juniors in Years 7 to 11 wishing to sit in the stand will be able to buy their £2 ‘upgrade’ ticket at the turnstiles and then present this to the steward for collection at the entrance to the stand.
Understandably, some fans may decide after they have entered the ground that they wish to sit in the stand – for example if the weather takes a turn for the worst. In which case, they would need to return to the turnstiles and the steward on duty there will be happy to assist the fan to purchase an upgrade from the turnstile operator.
From when the new stand becomes operational:
- Admission to the ground and stand will be free for U11s (Year 6 and below) accompanied by a responsible adult – maximum of three children per adult;
- Provision for 8 additional wheelchair users with carers;
- Provision for 63 additional seated season ticket holders;
- Provision of 99 seats in a dedicated ‘family’ area – £2 for responsible adult and juniors Years 7 to 11, free for children in Year 6 and below;
- Provision of 48 seats for parents and children attending as part of the schools programme;
- Provision for 60 ‘pay on the day’ upgrades for adults and concessions (home and away) at £2;
- Season tickets to be available for ‘family’ area;
- £2 seated upgrades to be purchased from the turnstiles;
- Access to stand area will be controlled and anyone wishing to change ends will have to pass via the clubhouse side of the ground.