We've all been there. An event is sold out but then it emerges that some people are not actually coming – yet only a short while earlier people were turned away because there was seemingly no more space for them... It's a phenomenon against which Borussia Dortmund wants to take an active stance once the new season starts. Speaking in an interview, Managing Director Carsten Cramer and Head of Ticketing Matthias Naversnik discuss the introduction of a no-show rate.
BVB recently announced the number of people on the waiting list for a season ticket. Alongside the 55,000 season tickets that are always out of stock, there are currently an additional almost 50,000 fans interested in obtaining a total of more than 80,000 season tickets for BVB home games.
As a way of increasingly prioritising access at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK to fans who really want to see all the home games without exception, Borussia Dortmund have held talks with the Fan Department and the Fan Council regarding methods of minimising so-called no-shows.
During the talks it became clear that while many season ticket holders attend all home games, some season tickets are only used to attend the top matches. As a result, an agreement has been reached by which Borussia Dortmund will assess the use of season tickets by holders following the 2018/19 season and the club reserves the right to terminate the season ticket contracts for rarely used season tickets ahead of the following season.
The season ticket no-show rate refers to the number of unattended Bundesliga home games. BVB Managing Director Carsten Cramer and Head of Ticketing Matthias Naversnik explain further details and the reasons behind the new rules below.
Why have BVB introduced the no-show rate?
Carsten Cramer: "Unfortunately, we've increasingly observed that many season tickets have gone unused at Bundesliga home games in the past, while many fans were not able to acquire individual tickets due to the high demand. BVB have introduced the no-show rate with the objective of significantly lowering the number of unused season tickets per match. With respect to the high demand for tickets, this measure shall ensure that the privilege of a season ticket will not be exploited to the detriment of other fans."
What will the no-show rate for season ticket holders be?
Matthias Naversnik: "The season ticket needs to have been used for at least ten Bundesliga home games. In other words, this means a maximum of seven unattended Bundesliga home matches."
What happens to the season ticket if this number of attended games is not reached?
Cramer: "Borussia Dortmund reserves the right to terminate the season ticket contract for the following season. What counts here is how often the season ticket is registered at the entrance."
Does the season ticket count as having been used if it is offered via the legal BVB Secondary Ticket Market and is successfully transferred there?
Naversnik: "Yes, in fact it's actively encouraged. And not just that: even placing a season ticket on the official BVB Secondary Market tool counts as use of the season ticket. Even if the season ticket is not sold on via the platform, placement on the Secondary Market counts as use of the season ticket."
In the future, will BVB check whether I personally go to the stadium with my season ticket?
Cramer: "No, nothing will change regarding admission. In individual cases, the season ticket may still be passed on to relatives, friends and acquaintances as long as there are no improper objectives and/or commercial profit motives associated with the transfer in accordance with the Season Ticket T&Cs, the GTCs and the Stadium Regulations."
Does the no-show rate apply to all season ticket holders?
Naversnik: "...for all apart from in blocks 12 and 13 who cannot place their season tickets on the BVB Secondary Market, as well as VIP season tickets. We're working on a solution to enable these tickets to be placed on the Secondary Market too."
At which point will the season ticket contract be terminated if the no-show rate is reached?
Naversnik: "BVB reserves the right to terminate the season ticket contract at the end of the season. The current season ticket will then still remain valid until the end of the season but will no longer be offered to the holder for the following season."
Have BVB introduced the no-show rate unilaterally and, in doing so, bypassed the fans?
Cramer: "Not at all! The no-show rate is actually the result of a joint project by Borussia Dortmund, the BVB Fan Department and the Fan Council, who have discussed the guidelines for the no-show rate across several rounds of talks. There has already been such a cooperation for other projects in the field of ticketing, such as the legal Secondary Market."
Do other clubs have a no-show rate as well?
Naversnik: "Yes, and the motives behind it are the same in all cases. Via cooperation with their fans, other clubs have also recognised that the regulation of the use of season tickets is necessary and wanted by the fans too – because in the end they all have the same goal at heart: maximum support from the stands for their team. And that's much more easily achieved when the stands are sold-out rather than when there are gaps in the stadium!"