With the commencement of the new campaign fast approaching, the club would like to provide supporters with an update on the work that is being undertaken behind the scenes to welcome fans back to the Kassam Stadium.
Please find below the information in the form of frequently asked questions, which should hopefully go some way to providing clarity as to how the club will proceed once the Kassam Stadium is open once again.
When will supporters be allowed back inside the Stadium?
The Government’s current guidance is that spectators will be allowed to return to football stadiums from October, with social distancing measures in place. These social distancing measures will reduce the number of supporters permitted inside the Kassam Stadium.
If the above protocol stays in place, the club will be looking to welcome back fans for the Sky Bet League 1 fixture with Crewe Alexandra on Saturday 3rd October, 3pm.
Who will be able to attend games?
Our aim is that all Season Ticket Holders will be able to attend permitted home games, however this will be dictated by Government legislation and protocol. We will shortly be asking all 2020/21 Season Ticket holders to fill out a survey letting us know which supporters are in your social bubble & whether you intend to attend matches right away.
If the total number of Season Ticket holders exceeds the available capacity, a selection policy will be implemented and communicated to supporters in due course.
If all Season Ticket holders have been accommodated and there is capacity to welcome additional supporters, a match ticket purchasing process will be implemented.
I normally attend matches by myself, do I need to complete the social bubble survey?
Yes. As well as collecting the social bubble information from supporters, the survey will be looking to determine a whole host of other factors which will assist the club in ensuring we can welcome as many supporters as possible back to the Kassam.
What constitutes a Social Bubble?
Groups of two households to a maximum of six count as one social bubble. For example, Mr & Mrs Smith & their two children Amy & Andy could sit with Mr Smith’s Mother & Father in a row of six.
Will I be able to sit in my normal seat?
We are currently working on a seating plan following the guidance of both the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and the EFL. To get the maximum number of supporters in the ground, fans will need to be relocated to different rows, blocks, or stands to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. With this in mind, the club would encourage supporters to fill out the social bubble survey at your earliest convenience, as this will increase your chances of being allocated a seat near to the one you purchased.
When will I receive my Season Ticket?
The delivery of Season Ticket cards and welcome packs has been delayed due to COVID-19.
Therefore, throughout the period where the stadium operates at a limited capacity, supporters will have a choice of how they gain access to the Kassam Stadium for matches:
- By using a temporary Season Card issued by the Ticket Office
- By opting to use an E-Ticket stored on a compatible smart phone
You will be asked to choose your method of entry when filling out your social bubble survey as mentioned above.
Will there be any away supporters?
The club has been advised by the EFL that there are likely to be changes to the existing regulations that require home clubs to accommodate away fans at fixtures. As such, the decision as to whether away fans will be permitted at stadiums will be down to the individual home club’s discretion.
If the changes to the regulations are to be passed, Oxford United’s stance is that our own home supporters should take priority for the limited capacity the club will have available. Therefore, there will no away supporters present at the Kassam Stadium for the foreseeable future.
In the process of ensuring the club maximises the amount of U’s fans in attendance, some supporters will be required to sit in blocks 28 and 29 in the North Stand – which in normal circumstances would typically house visiting supporters.
If home games are played behind closed doors, will I be entitled to a refund on my Season Ticket?
All supporters with a 2020/21 Season Ticket will be given access to a live streaming service for all home games that are played behind closed doors – this is subject to the fixture not being selected for live television coverage.
Supporters who don’t hold a 2020/21 Season Ticket will be able to purchase an iFollow Match Pass at a price of £10 per fixture.
What does a socially distanced fixture look like?
The club are working hard behind the scenes with the EFL and Safety Groups to ensure that we adhere to all essential protocols when we welcome supporters back. Following the initial planning phases, we can advise supporters that the new regulations will have an influence on your normal matchday routine, this will include but is not exclusive to the following:
- Supporters will need to enter the stadium earlier than they usually would to ensure they are at their seat for kick off. Due to more stringent checks on entry to the stadium and the change in seating arrangements, late arrival may jeopardise your opportunity to watch the match.
- You will only have access to the concourses when using the toilet facilities and when you enter or exit the stadium
- Once you have taken to your seat, you will not be permitted to move from it unless you are using the toilet facilities or leaving the stadium
- Following the fixture, supporters will need to remain in their seat until they are authorised to leave by the safety team.
- No food concessions will be available on the concourse, however catering facilities will be available outside the stadium.