Earlier today, CEO Ameet Bains wrote to all Western Bulldogs access members following the AFL’s announcement that reserved seating will return to venues from Round 9 of the AFL season.
In the letter, Bains confirmed to members that products purchased in 2021 do not include a reserved seat entitlement.
“Due to reduced venue capacities and contact tracing requirements, clubs have not yet been able to deliver reserved seat entitlements to members who have purchased a reserved seat as part of their 2021 package,” he wrote.
“As the last fortnight in Western Australia has also shown, the challenges of dealing with COVID-19 and its impact on crowds means this ever-present threat continues to loom.
“At the end of last year, our club decided to remove the reserved seat from our 2021 products given we could not guarantee the delivery of this benefit. With the changes made to our model in 2021, it is not possible for the Club to reassign members their traditional reserved seat for the balance of this AFL season.”
The Club’s 2021 membership model removes the upfront cost of reserved seating, with members able to pay a stadium fee only for matches attended. It also enables members the opportunity to purchase guest passes for family and friends, a benefit not possible in a traditional reserved seat model.
Bains said the Club’s approach delivered members with greater value, flexibility and certainty for the 2021 season.
“Clubs across the industry have all taken different approaches to their membership models in 2021, which has seen a significant impact on membership revenue and yield across the industry and we have been no different,” he said.
“The impact on us is also attributable to the Club consciously pricing our key membership products more affordably than other Marvel Stadium tenant clubs to provide more value after the challenges of 2020.
“Our intent remains to provide a fixed reserved seat option for members from the 2022 season, and we look forward to providing this opportunity to you.
“We thank you for your ongoing support of the Club which is critical to assisting us to be as successful as we can both on and off the field.
“Your support means everything to us, and we remain grateful to the almost 45,000 members who have joined us on our journey in season 2021.”