Lowering junior ticket prices was Harrogate Town's way of saying 'thank you' for fan backing
Harrogate Town say their decision to reduce ticket prices for under-18s was taken with the hope of demonstrating how much they appreciate the backing of the younger members of their fanbase.
The Wetherby Road outfit lowered admission fees for their recent FA Cup clash with Portsmouth and have now committed to maintaining those rates for junior supporters.
Under-fives go free anyway, but fans up to the age of 18 can now take in games at the CNG Stadium for as little as £5 (standing), with seated tickets costing £6.
“We have done this because we appreciate the fantastic support that we have received this season,” Town’s managing director Garry Plant explained.
“We initially wanted to recognise the backing that we got at Halifax in the game that set up our FA Cup fixture with Portsmouth and say thank you to everyone who turned out there.
“But, after the Portsmouth match we decided to keep ticket prices for under-18s at this reduced rate.
“We want to show our gratitude to our loyal supporters and we also want to see more young people and families in the stadium.
"We have to try and grow the crowd and to do that we need to attract more youngsters in from an early age.”
No fewer than 3,402 people were in attendance for last week’s FA Cup first round proper showdown with League One Pompey, and Plant admits that the experience of having a crowd of that size packed into the stadium has left the club craving more of the same.
“To see the terraces and stands packed like they were for the Portsmouth game, it gets your back tingling,” he added.
“We want more nights like the Portsmouth game. Now we’ve had a taste, we want to see the ground full like that every week.
“To achieve that we know that we have to look at ways to try and get more fans through the gates on a regular basis.”
The move to reduce under-18s admission prices follows the club’s decision to reinstate the online discount available to those buying match tickets in advance and the reintroduction of their early bird season ticket offer.
Town increased the cost of matchday admission across the board during the close season, a move that chairman Irving Weaver concedes had to be reviewed.
“Lessons have been learned,” he said.
“We’ve recognised that our pricing structure for youngsters was a bit out of kilter.
“We wanted to increase our playing budget and improve the squad and we needed the extra revenue, however it’s not the fans’ problem, so we’ve looked at ticket prices accordingly.”