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View from Afar
Trader Column
Written by RamsTrust board member Bob Donald   
Thursday, November 26 2009

I am curious. Living almost as far from Pride Park as one can get (apart from those unfortunate to live in eastern Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands this side of the International Date Line) I would like to know how the new swipe card form of entry to the stadium is going and what season ticket holders get for their money.

Not that we are strangers to that form of entry as it has been in use for quite a few years now in Western Australia. We find it very quick and easy to gain entrance, without long queues. There are, of course queues, but these are for security to check bags for errant glass bottles and alcohol ( beer etc is sold inside the ground using plastic cups, but I won’t dwell on that.)

Each year members are sent their credit-card sized tickets. (We don’t have season ticket holders as such. Instead you become a member of the club and your season ticket is part of that.) Ordinary tickets to the games are also bar-coded for ease of entry.

At the entrance there is usually one attendant for each pair of gates to help those who haven’t mastered the art of having the bar-code scanned – a surprising number do have some difficulty with this process, but it doesn’t hold up the process much.

The bar code also enables the club to contact a patron at the gate, if needed. This happened to a friend of mine who was visiting from the UK. The club decided the ticket he had bought had a restricted view and so they intercepted him at the gate and gave him a better seat.

The club I follow (The Fremantle Dockers in the AFL) has just introduced a new category for members. They call it the Freo Advantage. This allows the membership to be paid over 12 months instead of in one hit, It is an opt out system. Once you take that option they will bill your credit card for 12 equal payments and then contact you to confirm that you wish to continue for the next season in the same seat. Once confirmed they will continue to bill each month. It takes a lot of the hassle out of the process. If you don't wish to continue then you must opt out.

My annual membership of the Club gives me a vote for 2 member-elected members of the Board; it gives me the year book and regular club magazines; it allows me to purchase the current season hat and scarf at a reduced rate.

Perth Glory (A League) also has bar-code scanned tickets for entry. It also has a Derby County connection. In its last two away games both Mile Sterjovski (injured) and Andy Todd (suspended) have been missing. They were both back for the Sunday game against Melbourne Victory ( the team that inspired the Man U strip this year). Todd has been a mainstay of the defence. Not so sure about Sterjovski but he may well prove the doubters wrong.

The Trader column is for individual members of RamsTrust to put their point of view across in the media. Although the views will not contravene the principles of the trust, the views expressed are entirely personal to the author and do not necessarily represent RamsTrust policy.

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