You said, we did.
Over the past few season we have issued a number of supporter surveys and met with supporter groups to gain feedback on your experiences as a Dragons supporter. Below are a number of ways we have made improvements.
Over the past few season we have issued a number of supporter surveys and met with supporter groups to gain feedback on your experiences as a Dragons supporter. Below are a number of ways we have made improvements in relation to these comments across the business over the last 12 months.
Question: Why do we get so many Sunday fixtures?
We often cannot control our own scheduling however have consistently fed back your disapproval. We have presented a strong case how Sunday’s adversely affect both supporters’ ability to attend matches and their enjoyment of the match, which affects the Regions match day bar and gate revenues. After a lot of hard work by tournament organisers and broadcast partners we are delighted to have a new look schedule with the vast majority of matches now taking place on a Friday night.
Comment: Just because I can’t make every game doesn’t make me less of a Dragons supporter than those who can.
Our Ticket Office is delighted to have introduced our new Memberships for 2016/17. The new packages are designed to reward supporters and create a sense of unity, bringing together all supporters regardless of how many matches they are able to attend. Season Memberships start from £129 while our General Membership, for those who can’t make every game, gives all the benefits of being a Season Member for just £30. We also extended a hugely popular early bird price with 1,700 supporters benefitting from this.
Question: I can buy a Ticket Online, why can’t I renew my Season Ticket online?
The ticket office also introduced online sales for Memberships for the first time. This allows us to better manage and communicate with our members and also to offer incentives and rewards.
We have negotiated a number of new discounts with sponsors and local partners, which are running for the entire season. Members simply need to show their Dragons Membership Card to access the rewards. All rewards can be found www.newportgwentdragons.com/rewards and will be updated with new offers through the season.
Question: The old Family Village was the life and soul of Rodney Parade, why can’t we bring it back?
With the addition of the We Fight Any Claim Family Zone last season we have created a new hub for matchday activity. This season there will be a whole host of pre-match community and family activity in the Family Zone organised by the Dragons Community Team and partners. There will also be a Q & A and autograph session with Dragons players at every match. Our post match entertainment also takes place in the Family Zone, which will be hosting live music after all Dragons’ matches at Rodney Parade this season.
Question: As supporters we want to know what is going on with our Region, what are you doing to keep us in the loop?
Our initial Q & A with Stuart and Kingsley was a huge success in which we learnt a lot from those who attended. We have committed to a series of Q & A’s through the season to give supporters regular chances to air their views and feedback, more of these events will be organised through the Supporters’ Club (see below).
We are placing a greater emphasis on our eZine, website and social media channels this season with all Dragons news available across these platforms as soon as it happens. This includes exclusive and behind the scenes access with the team.
Question: Why is their no Dragons Supporters Club?
Following a consultation and application process the Newport Gwent Dragons Supporters Club is now up and running. A representative group of Dragons supporters from across the Region has been put in place as a Committee who we will work closely with in their inaugural year. For more information about the Supporters Club, and their ongoing matchday and non-matchday activities, please visit www.dragonssupportersclub.com or pop and see them in the We Fight Any Claim Family Zone before every match.
Question: Other Clubs organise regular away travel for supporters, why don’t we?
We are absolutely delighted with the uptake from supporters for our European away knock out fixtures in the European Rugby Challenge Cup towards the end of last season. A fantastic atmosphere greeted our win over Gloucester at Kingsholm Stadium while it was fantastic to see so many Dragons shirts in the ground and around the city in Montpellier.
This season we will be working alongside the Dragons Supporters Club to provide coach travel and match ticket deals for our local Derby matches as well as our European fixture against Worcester Warriors. We will announce details of this in due course.
Question: Other Clubs have videos on Youtube, why don’t we?
We are delighted with the launch of Dragons TV. Our new Youtube channels keeps supporters up to date with all the news from the team with weekly player interviews and features. Dragons TV also get out and about around the Region to cover big Dragons events like the Dragons Charity Bike Ride and Royal Welsh Show. To watch the latest videos supporters should visit www.newportgwentdragons.com/TV
Question: Matchday bars always seem busy and queues seem long, why is this?
We have, in some areas of the ground, old infrastructure and poor bar provision particularly on the Hazel side of the ground. Having said this we have increased both the number of bar staff on matchdays, and the number of bars open.
We have introduced a new Real Ale Bar, which has proved a real success and is now open at every match with different Ales being introduced through the season. On busier matches the Away Bar under the Bisley Stand will be opened. We have also introduced backpackers and beer caddies in the Hazel Terrace to sell can of lager and ale.
Question: The re-useable pint cups are a good idea, but why should we have to queue to return them?
We have now installed 4 dedicated return points for the £1 re-useable plastic pint cups. This means people can get their deposit back without the need to queue or block the bar for people staying in the ground. This system has allowed us to significantly reduce our landfill.
Whilst some bars may need to close before the end of the match the dedicated return point in the We Fight Any Claim Family Zone means all supporters can return their cups quickly and easily. All dedicated return points are signposted around the ground and fully stocked with coins.
Comment: We are not impressed with the matchday food offering.
We have listened to feedback on this topic and changed our supplier. Following testing off all of the food on offer at various price points we are now confident that our food offering is comparable to other venues.
Comment: We love Rodney Parade and appreciate it is an old ground, however some of the facilities are not fit for purpose, whilst others are looking tired.
We have prioritised some key areas this summer. This includes the Hazell Terrace toilets, which have been plastered and painted. The ladies toilets have been replaced and men’s toilets benefitting from new stainless steel urinals. We understand there are issues with the toilets in Rodney Hall and this work will be carried out in the future.
We have also power washed and painted the entire stadium while also installing new lighting in some parts of the ground, clearing guttering and making general upgrades.
The barriers on North Terrace have been replaced with new higher barriers for increased safety. This also allows us to increase our capacity at the ground.
Question: What are you doing to take the Dragons around the Region?
We are delighted to have run our very first Dragons Tour of the Region on Sunday 14th August when we travelled around the Region to events held by local clubs. The Dragons’ Summer Tour, supported by Dragons sponsor Worthington’s, saw players, coaches and staff attend a range of events throughout the day. The Dragons had also been involved in planning, promoting and supporting each of the events. We have also taken a number of pre-season matches up to our training ground in Ystrad Mynach.
For more information please visit www.newportgwentdragons.com/News/Article/46325
Question: The range in the Rodney Parade Superstore is poor, why is there so little choice?
We are delighted that rugby retailer Rugby Heaven have now taken over the Rodney Parade Superstore. The new store offers supporters the new 2016/17 Dragons home and away replica shirts and an extensive range of official licensed merchandise from the club’s official kit supplier.
The new superstore also boasts a brand new and exclusive ‘Rodney Parade’ range. In addition to this, away from traditional match days the shop will also supply fans with some of rugby’s favourite brands such as Wales and Lions merchandise.
Question: We love the atmosphere at Rodney Parade but other venues seem to put on more of a show, are there plans to improve this at Rodney Parade?
We have put together a new matchday show with former Nation Radio Breakfast host Niall Foster joining the team. Niall is an experienced and passionate sports presenter and will be the voice and face of our match build up and half time show this season.
Our Big Screen will be more and more of a feature of matchday this season hosting video content, supporter interaction and competitions all supported by the University of South Wales.
In terms of music Dragons supporters contributed their nominations for this season’s Matchday Playlist through the summer while Dragons players have chosen a new walk out track and try track. We are also constantly looking to improve our sound and PA system with extra speakers now available for our bigger matches this season.
Every match will boast a new look Half Time Show this season as well as flames and fireworks courtesy of Pendragon Fireworks.
For more information please see our Matchday Experience article here www.newportgwentdragons.com/News/Article/46609