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In 30 years few will go to stadiums like Celtic Park

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Safe standing comes to Scottish football. Standing was a part of our game for over a century (and still is in the semi-professional divisions), but the Taylor Report changed the game fundamentally, as grounds were made all-seater in the 1990s. This phenomenon was not restricted to the UK, Uefa (to some extent) enforced the trend on the rest of the Continent.

Then things changed in Germany. New stadiums had railed seating, which allowed spectators to stand during games. This allowed more people to fit into the same space. The grounds still had to be converted to conventional seating for Uefa games, but the phenomenon of safe standing proved, well, safe.

In fact, it is a lot safer than the de facto situation in many UK grounds, where away fans stand in areas which are clearly unsafe for standing crowds.

I understand why Celtic have situated the safe standing area where they have lower-tier corner of North and Lisbon Lions stands, but for me it should be North Stand upper. If you’re going to have a standing section, don’t just site it where one has emerged organically, put it where it best suits the stadium, can have most impact on atmosphere and has room to grow. Make no mistake, demand will outstrip supply for the standing area, and soon enough we’ll be wondering how we grow it.

The stadium can be further-portioned off. At the moment the family area is squashed between the new standing area and away fans – this section also has nowhere to grow. If you want more families, ensure each passing decade the stadium has more targeted family areas.

There should also be greater price differentiation for tickets. The pack-em-in reality of standing areas fits the profile of a cheaper ticket, which fits the reality of the North Stand upper’s isolation from amenities like lounges. Fill the North upper full of cheap, standing tickets, extend facilities like lounges – and charge accordingly, or family facilities, to lower tiers.

You want to stand in a busy area, move about and keep warm – pay less. You want to keep warm in a lounge – pay more. You want to take penalties against Ms Hoopy, go to the family area. Just bring a child, please.

30 years from now, few will want to watch football in a stadium like Celtic Park. This happened to football in the 70s and 80s.  It became stuck in the infrastructure of what was then regarded by many as a decrepit bygone era.  Many football fans just stopped going.  I can see history repeating itself.

Cater for the future or your local shopping mall/multiplex will.  In future, everyone will want access to a warm lounge before and after the game, and at halftime. Try planning a leisure activity in northern Europe for the 21st century and come up with any other conclusion.

Ticket machines should be at the perimeter of the stadium footprint. Once inside, you should have fan zones with bars, restaurants, cafes, play areas, shops – mostly undercover. You should never be more than 5 minutes away from being able to spend money. Or spend a penny – with paper towels available all afternoon.

I’m usually in the environs of Celtic Park close to 3 hours on a match day. The opportunities for engagement are enormous, but we’re miles away for thousands of us in the ‘reasonably priced’ seats.

None of this is meant as a criticism. We have a magnificent 20th century stadium, I was one of thousands who paid to build it. All of the above wish-list would cost millions we just don’t have – this is the reality. But we need to have a vision of what our future requirement looks like.

I still miss the old Celtic Park, the new stadium cannot touch if for atmosphere, but what we expect when we go to the football is different now, and will be different again in the future. The first thing I’d do if we broke free of Scottish football is call in the bulldozers and start again.

Season ticket prices remain same as last season, confounding conspiracy theorists four-year fantasy. This caused brief spates of cognitive dissonance before a fresh wave of conspiracies washed the pain away.

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  1. NATKNOW on 4TH MAY 2016 12:52 PM

     

     

    I totally agree with you on that. TBH it’s a totally baffling decision.

  2. overseasbhoy on

    Could learn a lot from MetLife in New Jersey – first class modern stadium

  3. Given it looks like the standing area is definitely green brigade area, are those bhoys being given first option to buy a safe standing ticket?

  4. Allyhuntersgloves on

    While I am on, a strange story of Ronnie. I was in Jintys on Saturday night about 7pm, it was packed out (getting in was interesting as a very drunk bird at the door was asking everyone what “Tiocfaidh, ar, la” meant, if you didn’t know as she was telling you to “**** off your no gettin in”…..)

     

     

    Anyway, in comes Ronnie and another guy, a few guys ask him for selfy, congratulate him etc. His mate say’s lets get out of here its too busy and they leave. Now its holiday weekend in Glasgow, the day after pay day, we have just won the league and its the west end on a Saturday night, was he expecting two couples and an old guy with a dug?

  5. celt for life on

    Pablo & Twists

     

     

    My take on it is that my daughter who has a £50 ticket gets 19 games (that now includes the games against Sevco) but if I don’t want my daughter subjected to their bile then I can upgrade to a full ticket at a concession price and not the over inflated price.

     

    Glad I’m not the only one confused.

     

     

    “Next season we will again be offering kids’ season books, starting at the fantastic price of just £50 for children aged 12 and under. This will mean kids aged 12 and under will be able to attend 19 matches at just £2.63 per game.

     

     

    This season book will cover 19 matches and for the first time will guarantee the right to buy tickets for two sell-out games at a concession price.”

  6. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    TnT letters posted last Autumn asking if they wanted to remain in same area.

     

     

    mini and 2 of the nephews elected to remain whilst 1 has re located to north stand in front of my dad.

  7. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    Twists & turns

     

     

    Yes, life tends to get in the way of football at times. KO times don’t help either.

     

     

    Can’t see any Res12 developments from Celtic. long time has passed, I just don’t see them fighting it now. Secretly they’ll be happy some form of Rangers are in the league to, in theory, boost attendances.

     

     

    I do think safe standing area should be bigger than the green brigade corner.

  8. WEEMINGER on 4TH MAY 2016 12:56 PM

     

     

    NATKNOW on 4TH MAY 2016 12:52 PM

     

     

    I totally agree with you on that. TBH it’s a totally baffling decision.

     

    ——————————————————————————————————-

     

    One of many baffling decisions. Or to put it another way – Celtic’s supporter communication strategy is non-existent. Paul67 mentioned comms. in a post a while back – I think he even called for ideas. I mentioned at the time that I receive regular communication from Celtic – an email every other day to sell me something and a call from an insurance company once every few months.

  9. Season tickets cover 21 games. 19 league games and usually a first qualifying round in Europe and a friendly.

  10. celt for life on

    Just read T’s & C’s. Kids ticket gets minimum 19 matches, maximum 20. Mine is 21, so that means its back to what is was before they died. Season book for under 12s doesn’t include Sevco games, buy you can purchase seat at a concession rate that will no doubt be more than the full season ticket cost.

  11. So, 2 games have disappeared meaning an actual increase in per game price but in real terms a freeze. What value was added to the season ticket with those two extra games? very little in truth.

     

     

    I’m now paying £23 a game. No season ticket holder should be paying more than £20.

     

     

    Twenty’s plenty.

     

     

    I agree with Paul, if you want comfort you pay for it and you shouldn’t moan that others pay less. You make your choice.

  12. Whilst safe standing and frozen season tickets are welcomed, we are just tinkering at the edges of giving supporters the full fan experience they should be having.

     

    I recently went to my first Bundesliga game, Hertha Berlin v Hannover at the Olympic Stadium. The Olympic Stadium is an old style stadium with a running track around it and no safe standing as such. However behind one of the goals in the lower tier was around 6-8,000 supporters who were orchestrated by some guys at the front (loud halers and drums) and they never stop singing, bouncing, backing there team. Its infectious, the upper tier behind them, where I was, join in so you get an complete end of about 15,000 creating a fantastic atmosphere for the full 2+ hours you are in the stadium.

     

    All this for £17 a ticket, a beer at your seat and numerous catering facilities of all varieties if you wish something to eat. Outside the stadium there are catering/merchandising stalls on the walk from the underground station up to the turnstiles where supporters of both teams mix and have a pre match beer.

     

    I didn’t see one police officer from the moment I stepped off the train until I returned to the city centre.

     

    Compare this to approx. £29 per ticket to watch crap football, be treated as a potential criminal by the police, and a club who treat you as turnstile fodder, sit down, shut up, spend your money then go home.

  13. The Battered Bunnet on 4th May 2016 12:32 pm

     

     

    For those who canny be arsed with the Google malarkey…

     

     

    Here’s the New Camp Nou, courtesy of WDH: https://youtu.be/hfsxpnLXSxg

     

     

    —————————————————————————–

     

     

    Was half-expecting it to take off at the end of year 4 and go into hyperdrive.

  14. garygillespieshamstring on

    Does it mean 17 league games, 2 Euro qualifiers on the ticket and you can choose whether or not you buy a ticket for the sevco game (s)?

     

     

    I would be happy with that.

  15. Just arrived in Seville from Malaga.

     

    Anyone know any Celtic minded places to go for a beer.

     

    I am staying about 800 metres from Sevilla’s stadium.

     

    Had a fantastic day on Sunday watching the Hearts game with the Madrid CSC.Great bunch of Bhoys.HH

  16. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I read the CLUMPANYS post with interest and he is right in Scotland including Celtic football supporters in the main provide much of the cash to run clubs however the football authorities ignore us.Once a year we have the chance to send the authorities a message by with holding our ticket money. However as the Celtic support clearly show we are a fragmented bunch and cannot agree what action should take place in order to bring about the changes we want and in my view that fragmentation will continue as will the Celtic board ignoring the support. Many of us are waiting to see if anything becomes of Resolution 12 and also the outcome of the tax case against Rangers I am not confident we will see a resolution to either and I like many other fans will not support the cheating in Scottish football.I dont think enough Celtic supporters will walk away to give our board any concerns and the poor treatment of the support will continue another sign of the direction the board are taking will in my view be who they appoint as manager. I wish I was confident that change will happen but I think we are in for more of the same.H.H.

  17. Next week I will attend the Brno vs Sparta Prague game

     

     

    total cost for Tram to the game/ticket/a few beers and maybe something to eat

     

     

    £10…………….. we pay too much for football in Scotland

  18. I was in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 10 years and the facilities, comfort and fan experience at Safeco field in Seattle for example is what we should be trying to replicate. Great views, standing areas, top food and lots of distractions and options for kids and families.

  19. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Celtic Park is what is known as a destinational venue.

     

     

    Most people only go there to watch football for a few hours per week and then go away again.

     

     

    As another poster has pointed out, the social facilities are hardly top class in certain areas of the stadium and if there was no football on you simply would not go there and if there were an alternative to the facilities you would use the alternative.

     

     

    For years, the old board resisted spending any money on ladies toilets which more or less guaranteed that few women came to the games.

     

     

    Short sighted and stupid.

     

     

    After an AGM a few years ago, I wanted to go and use the cafe and restaurant that once existed in the stadium — it was closed and there was no possibility of eating or having a snack at the ground. It never reopened which was disappointing as I used it for lunch reasonably often and had mothers and fathers day meals there.

     

     

    The Commonwealth Games paid for the Celtic Way and during the Davis Cup matches at the Emirates Celtic were out charging spectators for using their car park.

     

     

    You might have thought that someone would have woken up to the fact that the Emirates is also destinational and there was money to be made from en masse attendance across the road — by the way the Emirates has a cafe etc.

     

     

    Celtic own enough ground around the stadium to create an area for shops, cafe, restaurants offices or whatever. You know kinda like Chelsea village but different because it is not Chelsea.

     

     

    But the only think that Celtic have built is the superstore and the new ticket office — two of the biggest prefab sheds in christendom.

     

     

    Then again, perhaps there is no one on the Celtic board who is entrepreneurial or who has ever managed an expanding business or anyone who has taken a property risk and created a destinational venue?

     

     

    Don’t show them the Barca videos (I posted them on twitter about 4 weeks ago) they will just get confused and think it is Disneyworld or a theme park or something.

     

     

    And don’t mention the idea of a digitally interactive museum and entertainment centre at the front of the stadium with the club shop and a restaurant attached. That will never work. There are no other big clubs in European Football doing that kind of a thing. Anyone who thinks of that kind of thing is silly.

     

     

    Glad they changed the photograph of Paul Hartley after all those years — whoever inspects the toilets must be on a bonus?

     

     

    Facilities Management? — it’s all Swahili to some folk.

     

     

    And if you laid all the accountants in the world end to end you wouldn’t get a balance.

     

     

    TBB — Bankier WAS a Lawyer but moved into the Whisky business long ago. He knows more about whisky and retailing than he does about the law. He stuck £1.5 M of his own money into the Whisky Shop business, has expanded it and made his money plus profit back I understand.

     

     

    He is a PR diddy but he put his money where his mouth is so to speak.

     

     

    Football is a social thing.

     

     

    Celtic Park is far from being optimised as a social destination.

  20. Oh I’m outa here for the day, every moaning face negative anti board left wing socialist crackpot do Gooder politicaly correct holy ur than thou is in here today, canny handle it, HH

     

    Lurking Huns GIRFUYs the rest? get a life ffs, lighten up.

  21. I’m actually of the opinion that clubs selling the season book as per game are missing the point and I know I made the point by saying that I’m now paying £23.33 per game.

     

     

    The question that ALL season ticket holders should be asking themselves is what they are being asked to pay value for money? Is the whole package, seat, product, facilities, banter, enjoyment, time away from the wife worth the Celtic TAX I pay every season?

  22. GARYGILLESPIESHAMSTRING on 4TH MAY 2016 1:27 PM

     

     

    Something like that. My fear is that at least 1 of 2 alternative games will be a friendly.

  23. !!Bada Bing!! on

    BRTH-The Ticket Office predominantly came from Commonwealth Games money too.HH

  24. traditionalist88 on

    Zico-Maltese Bhoy on 29th April 2016 6:13 pm

     

    Hi Bhoys and Ghirls from a sunny Madrid.

     

     

    Like to thank DHARMA BAM and TRADITIONALIST 88 for putting forward a bar in Madrid to watch the Celtic game tomorrow.

     

     

    Triskel is showing it.

     

     

    Madrid CSC are based there.Looking forward to watching the game with fellow minded thims.HH

     

    =======

     

     

    No probs!

     

     

    HH

  25. I’ve often thought that Celtic simply do not do enough to maximise match-day experience at CP. The Celtic Way has made the outside of the ground much more attractive, but there is really no incentive to turning up early – and if you do, there is precious little to do (unless you count the (v good) Kerrydale Suite).

     

     

    With the Emirates across the road there is a chance to turn Parkhead into something bigger. What price to set up some large cafes or bars in the vicinity – nothing fancy but surely with several thousand hungry and thirsty punters every fortnight it’d pay for itself?

  26. the long wait is over on

    “Once inside, you should have fan zones with bars, restaurants, cafes, play areas, shops – mostly undercover.”

     

     

    Whit aboot wur supercasino..?

  27. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    What the PLC is telling you, is this.

     

    Pay up or shut up.

     

    They reckon they can get by on bigotry alone.

     

    So what if a few thousand fans call it a day.

     

    They dont pay….we dont need them.

     

    Ive already noticed the ‘we dont need you’ narrative.

     

    Prawn Sandwich Brigade.

     

    Its all noted.

     

    It wont work either.

     

     

    HH

  28. The club should be congratulated on not increasing prices. On the other hand, I suspect they didn’t have much choice.

     

     

    Fans are bleeding away season by season owing to exceptionally poor executive leadership off the park and poor management on it.

  29. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    When you think about the type of people who run Celtic.

     

    Its no surprise that they have always treated working-class Celtic fans like s***.

     

    They have a long track record on that score.

     

    Now that Celtic is run by Tories, is anybody surprised at their attitudes?

     

    Tories dont like working-class people.

     

    Might be why, they think they can do whatever the feck they like with your money.

     

     

    HH

  30. Italiabhoy

     

    Most definitely. If there was a complex as you suggest, I am convinced many would make the day a bit of a day out, either pre or post match meal with the football sandwiched in between.

     

    I would also think some sort of shuttle service from various points in and around the city would be useful. (I am assuming that is not a service available at the minute)

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