Southampton Football Club would like to provide an update to fans of steps being taken ahead of the upcoming West Ham fixture in response to the access issues experienced by supporters during the home game against Manchester United on Sunday 22nd August.
The club has undertaken a thorough investigation of the events that led to delays for some fans in entering the stadium.
As a result of this work, the club identified a key mechanical failure with a significant number of turnstiles around St Mary’s as the cause of the delay to people entering the stadium that day, which had not been evident during testing at pre-season matches.
The issue, which was caused by the failure of a small component part, has now been rectified, with significant testing carried out to ensure fans will be able to access the stadium quickly and easily. As part of this work, the club has also worked with the local Safety Advisory Group to review all of the relevant safety procedures and protocols.
In addition to these actions, the club has introduced further measures to ensure a smooth journey into St Mary’s for fans, including increased training for matchday stewards to allow them to provide further support if tickets aren’t scanning as they should, and extra signage will also be in place to advise fans when they are inside the turnstile.
For supporters attending Saturday’s fixture against West Ham, please follow the guidance below to ensure a smooth entry through the turnstiles:
- When scanning your Season Ticket card or other match tickets, please ensure you present the barcode directly to the scanner and as indicated at the turnstiles
- To make it easier to scan barcodes, the club has installed a shelf below each scanner, as well as guidance on where to place the barcode in relation to the scanner, as illustrated in the image below:
- When your barcode successfully scans, the light above the scanner will turn green and make an audible beep – this is your indicator to go through the turnstile
- Once a supporter has successfully passed through the turnstile, the next person entering must wait until the green light goes off before scanning their barcode
- If showing a ticket with a QR code, please ensure your device’s screen is on full brightness. It is also recommended that you save your ticket on your phone before arrival, as trying to download at the stadium may cause delays if you encounter mobile connectivity issues
- If printing tickets at home, please make sure the barcode is clearly printed
Advice for fans attending games at St Mary’s
Following the investigation, the club is confident that there will not be a repeat of the issues experienced prior to the Manchester United game, but fans should also consider the following additional guidance when coming to St Mary’s:
- Please arrive at St Mary’s early to ensure any ticketing issues can be dealt with quickly. If you are collecting your tickets on the day then early arrival is strongly advised, as it is for each game
- Be prepared to show your Covid-19 status if asked to by stewards in line with Premier League requirements and in response to anticipated government guidance
- If showing your NHS Covid Pass, please ensure your device’s screen is on full brightness. It is also recommended that you download your NHS Covid Pass to your phone before arrival, as trying to download the app at the stadium may cause delays if you encounter mobile connectivity issues.
The club is extremely sorry to anyone who has experienced delays in receiving their Season Tickets ahead of the opening home game against Manchester United. The majority of supporters have now received their Season Ticket, and any supporter who still has not received their season ticket will be contacted directly ahead of the fixture against West Ham.
At the Manchester United game, supporters also experienced issues with the concourses being extremely busy with significant queues for the concourse kiosks. As many other organisations have also seen, staffing at large stadiums and event venues has remained a challenge following the Covid-19 pandemic. The club continues to work with its catering partner, Gather & Gather, to find a solution to these staffing issues.
The club would like to thank supporters for their continued support and assure fans that we are committed to providing everyone with the best possible matchday experience at St Mary’s.
Southampton Football Club is sorry to anyone who experienced any issues at the match against Manchester United and is making sure this is something the club learns from to improve everybody’s experience at St Mary’s.