It was fantastic to welcome you back to Blundell Park for competitive action for the first time in over 500 days.
Ahead of Saturday's visit of Barnet, we would like to address a number of points that have been raised by our supporters over the last few days.
Family Fan Zone
The Mariners Trust Family Fan Zone opens pre-match at 12pm and will close at 2:45pm. Please note that access can only be gained via Constitutional Avenue prior to entry into Blundell Park for a fixture. No match ticket is required to gain entry however, a capacity of 200 is set for the facility. Once this capacity level has been reached, a one-in-one-out entry process will be in effect. Please note that once supporters have gained entry into the stadium for a fixture, access to the Fan Zone will not be permitted outside of the timings stated below.
Docks Beers are the host brewery in the Family Fan Zone, selling some of their most popular beer including Clap, Clap, Fish, Hard Graft and Overtime. Food in the Family Fan Zone is currently provided by Slipway on a rotational basis.
Within the Fan Zone, there are three toilet facilities available. There is also a kids' area with table football, traditional board games and free face painting for those wishing to take advantage of this offering.
At half-time on designated fixtures, the Family Fan Zone will open at half-time to those with tickets in the Young's Lower and Upper Stands to ease congestion in the concourse area. You must show a valid ticket to gain entry during this period. This will open five minutes prior to and five minutes after the half-time interval. Licencing of the area means that no alcohol can be served during play so once both teams take to the field for the second half, the serving of alcohol will seize regardless of queues. Unfortunately, this is something that is out of our control and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
The Fan Zone will remain open after the fixture until 7pm, serving both food and drinks, including soft and hot drinks. This will remain under continuous review and subject to popularity.
Following on from our fan survey launched a number of months ago, you asked for an improvement of the fan experience at Blundell Park on match days, with an improved speaker system regularly requested. We listened to your requests and over the last few months, we have been researching pathways for us to install a brand new system to help improve the sound quality and atmosphere here at Blundell Park.
For our opening fixture vs. Weymouth, we hired a system similar to that used towards the end of the 2017/18 campaign. Unfortunately on this occasion, the desired outcome was not reached with supporters in the Young's Upper & Lower unable to hear the music and PA announcements that were made.
We have therefore made the decision to temporarily return to our original system whilst we continue to seek expert advice on the matter. We continue to aim to install a new system at our earliest opportunity to help improve the fan experience here at Blundell Park.
Earlier this week, we issued the following statement after being made aware that a number of supporters purchased packages in order to access live audio commentary via our online facilities. After consultation with the EFL and IMG, we have elected to end Live Audio coverage of our games through Mariners Player.
Instead, we are encouraging our supporters to access Free live commentary through BBC Radio Humberside and via the BBC Sounds App. A full refund for the subscriptions purchased by our supporters will automatically be processed by the EFL. For any further questions relating to the matter, please contact us at email@example.com.
Once again we wholeheartedly apologise for any supporters who had purchased packages with the intention of listening to live audio commentary of our opening day fixture vs. Weymouth.
Socially Distanced Seating
Despite a lifting of COVID 19 restrictions nationally, our fan survey identified that 40% of our supporters stated they are not as confident as they were prior to the pandemic, with 27% stating that they would not return to Blundell Park until they felt 100% safe. We listened to their concerns and have allocated a section of seats in the Main Stand to be dedicated to those who wish to continue to socially distance themselves whilst enjoying a game at Blundell Park.
To ensure social distancing is maintained in this stand, tickets must be purchased directly from the Blundell Park ticket office or by calling 01472 605050. We are also able to deliver these tickets digitally via e-mail or text message to be scanned on match day on the turnstiles.