WANDERERS say they have had a good response from supporters for the upcoming World Cup Fan Parks around the stadium.
The club has announced plans to welcome fans into the FanZone, Premier Suite and Hotel to watch England’s first three scheduled games against Iran, USA and Wales on November 21, 25 and 29 respectively.
Tickets cost £5 a head and are available via the club’s e-ticketing site, granting entry into a particular section of the stadium where food and beverages will be served alongside the football.
Explaining the charge, chief executive Neil Hart said Wanderers’ prices would be considerably lower than other clubs in the area who will be running their own fan park.
“We wanted to give an opportunity to supporters to come together and watch England play, hopefully to celebrate some success for the team at the World Cup,” he told The Bolton News.
“World Cups and Euros are a great way to pull communities together and we want to showcase that, open up the doors. We’re opening up the adult FanZone, the Premier Suite and the hotel and we’ve decided to charge a nominal fee of £5 a head which basically helps us run the place, staff it and cost it.
“I think the charge is fair and I know of other clubs not so far away that are charging £10-15 for the same sort of thing. We have tried to keep that cost as low as possible and the ticket sales have gone well. We’ll market it right up to the event and we’d anticipate it to be very busy.”
Wanderers have already moved one game against Bristol Rovers to avoid clashing with a potential Round of 16 fixture and it is understood they are also in discussion with Shrewsbury Town over a potential switch for the game on December 10, should England progress further.
The matchday Fan Zone will run continuously through the winter, and the club is now making efforts to ensure winter weather does not affect supporters’ ability to have a pre-game pint and snack.
“Every game has been at capacity so far,” Hart said. “It has been brilliant.
“We have some additional covers going on there in time for the Lincoln game, by which point we will have doubled the canopies in there.
“We know the weather won’t necessarily be great in the months to come but we want to make sure we get 80-90 per cent of it under cover by the time we get into the back end of October and November.
“If we have some cold snaps then, we’ll bring in some heaters.”
Wanderers have already made some alterations to improve the Fanzone since it opened in August and Hart says he will continue to listen to ideas, including liaising with the Supporters’ Trust.
“We have been delighted with the feedback from supporters and I make a point of popping in there before every single game to spend 10-15 minutes speaking with supporters, listening to some of their views on what is going on,” he said.
“I am pleased we have done it well. It might have been easier to chuck a tent up but I think the attention to detail has been good, the food options have been really well received, we have listened to supporters.
“I think in the first week there were a few issues on queuing and on which beers were being offered but we have addressed as much as we can.
“I think 80 per cent of the beer sold has been Madri – but one of the beer lines we’d sold about 10 pints. So we put more Madri on and opened up another bar, eased the queues a bit, and made it so that people can be served quicker.”