EXISTING Worcester Warriors debenture ticket-holders will be offered a ‘holiday’ period following the club’s relegation to the Championship.
A debenture ticket at Warriors is sold on a three-year cycle and costs £1,800 –the premium package available to the club’s supporters, which includes half-way line seating, priority parking and exclusive access to the East Stand debenture lounge However, following Warriors’ demotion from the Aviva Premiership, debenture-holders will be offered the chance to suspend their ticket for next season.
Those who take advantage of the offer will then be able to buy a cheaper ‘gold’ season ticket, which is priced at £350, to follow the action in the second tier, but they will still retain the benefits of a debenture ticket.
Presuming Warriors win promotion at the first time of asking, the supporters who take up the ‘debenture holiday’ offer will be able to resume their three-year cycle from the point they had reached prior to relegation.
There is also a one-year debenture option which will cost £400 for people who are not currently in a three-year cycle.
Tom Ryder, Warriors’ head of commercial development, explained the idea at the recent supporters’ evening that was held in the indoor training centre at Sixways.
He said: “We will be writing to all debenture holders who are in an existing three-year cycle to offer a ‘debenture holiday’ as a way of giving value back following our relegation.
“Debenture holders have been key to the funding and development of this club and will continue to be in the future.
“This gesture is our way of thanking them for their support and loyalty during a transitional period.
“Our recent relegation has led us to review the debenture scheme, so we are offering the ‘debenture holiday’, effectively freezing the debenture ticket for the Championship season.
“Taking the holiday will mean you purchase a £350 gold 2014/15 season ticket, yet retain the benefits of your debenture. On our planned return back to the Premiership for the 2015/16 season, your original debenture will resume.
“The ‘debenture holiday’ is optional and those who do not purchase it will simply continue with their original debenture with a chance to renew at the end of their cycle.”
Another idea to be discussed at the supporters’ evening was the possibility of a terraced standing area being introduced at Sixways.
Brian Ryan, the club’s head of operations, admitted such a scheme becoming reality is currently being considered.
He said: “We are aware of the desire to have a covered standing area within the stadium by some of our supporters, and are actively working on the feasibility of this at the moment.
“A section of the Fragrancemad Stand would be the suggested area, due to a high concentration of season ticket and debenture holders in both the West and E-Lites stands.
“There are a number of considerations in deciding upon pursuing this project.
“Firstly, there is the suitability of the current temporary structure from a safety perspective, as well as ascertaining the real demand for such an area among our fans.
“We will update our supporters regarding this option at a later stage.”
Ryan continued to say that the club’s vision remains to ultimately turn Sixways into a 20,000-seater stadium.
He added: “Our long-term plans are still to maintain and improve Sixways so that it is one of the finest club rugby stadiums in Europe.
“With any major infrastructure builds, there needs to be a solid case and financial strategy to ensure an upgrade is required.
“We would only increase our capacity should ticket sales and demand to visit Sixways increase.
“Ultimately, as has always been Cecil Duckworth’s vision, we want to develop to a 20,000-seat stadium.
“This is very much a long-term plan, and would happen in stages, as has our stadium development to date.”