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Borussia Dortmund have laid out this template for Newcastle United to follow

2 years ago

Borussia Dortmund set the benchmark for Newcastle United.

A club that I think have an awful lot going for them, especially when it comes to their fanbase.

Borussia Dortmund, the best supported team in Europe.

With covid restrictions now lifted, Bundesliga clubs set to be back to full capacity once again, with crowds of 80,000+ for Borussia Dortmund.

In advance of their new season, I was interested to read the following from the Bundesliga club.

They have a ceiling on season ticket numbers set at 55,000 out of the 81,635 seats, ensuring a large number still go on match by match sale, once you take away the away allocation and corporate etc.

Borussia Dortmund revealing (see below) that out of the 55,000 season ticket holders, only 200 are not renewing for the 2022/23 season. Meaning that only 200 new season ticket holders will come into being, with those coming from the club’s extensive waiting list.

Borussia Dortmund official announcement – 20 June 2022:

‘55,000 BVB fans have already secured their regular spots at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK for the 2022/23 season. As a result, BVB have halted the advance sale of season tickets. Only 200 fans cancelled their season tickets this summer.

More than two-thirds of the 81,365 seats in SIGNAL IDUNA PARK will again be occupied by regular stadium goers next season – and, as always, that proportion should not be any higher. Borussia Dortmund will also welcome 200 new season ticket holders for the 2022/2023 season. Their names will be taken from a waiting list.

The season tickets will be dispatched by mail within the next few weeks, provided that the season ticket holders have opted for a plastic card. For the first time, BVB will also be offering digital season tickets as an option for next season.’

I have always seen this mass supported club as something that Newcastle United could model itself on, certainly where the importance of the supporters are concerned. The sheer numbers who follow the two clubs.

As we know, the average ownership of clubs in the two leagues is very different and some would say this is especially so at Newcastle United now. However, as fans we can’t dictate that, as was shown when Mike Ashley was in control for over 14+ years. Only when sufficient numbers of fans refused to go anyway and sacrificed their season tickets, did Ashley accept he had to sell the club, rather than pretending he was trying to do so. Massive empty spaces of unsold seats a very bad look for his tat empire adverts.

So when it comes to where the support needs to be positioned in terms of size and importance, Borussia Dortmund have laid out this template for Newcastle United to follow.

Personally, I think Newcastle United need to aim for the stars and the demand for tickets, even with just some encouragement…not success (yet!!), is astonishing. Though not really astonishing when only six seasons ago we filled St James’ Park for 23 Championship matches, averaging over 51,000 in the second tier.

For fans who boycotted Mike Ashley back in 2019, for fans whose boycott started in the many Ashley years before that, for fans who simply want to come and watch their team whatever their previous circumstances…and particularly those fans of the future, we need a massive stadium. We need 80,000+ just like Borussia Dortmund have.

Nobody wants to leave St James’ Park and maybe a miracle of engineering and / or compromise can be reached to allow that. However, more realistically I think a brand new St James’ Park just five minutes walk up the road at Castle Leazes, where the Sir John Hall administration made plans for, before then expanding the current SJP to 52,000 instead.

Interesting to see as well how Borussia Dortmund have decided to sell their match by match tickets in the upcoming season.

Having gone down the selling them online route, they have decided to knock that on the head and go back to selling them on the phone. Having 500 dedicated phone operators when tickets are put on sale. Borussia Dortmund also allocate a certain number of tickets match by match to their various supporters clubs, I can’t see that happening now at Newcastle United with already so many people chasing too few tickets.

Borussia Dortmund official explanation of how you can buy tickets match by match:

Dear BVB fans,

The demand for tickets for our club’s home and away matches is still as high as it has always been. Because we do not wish to reduce the number of loyal season ticket holders this season, it unfortunately goes without saying that there will continue to be a short supply of freely available tickets. We would therefore like you to understand that the demand for tickets will exceed the number of those available many times over.

We are well aware of the fact that many of our fans will be disappointed at not being able to get a ticket at certain points throughout the season. However, we hope you will understand that this is not attributable to a random ticket distribution policy employed by Borussia Dortmund; rather, this can be attributed to the club’s incredible sporting success. Ultimately, both BVB and its fans can take great pride in the fact that Germany’s largest football stadium is once again the most sought-after destination for football fans in the Bundesliga this season.

Following various talks held directly between those responsible at Borussia Dortmund and representatives of the fan department, fan support service and the fans themselves, we hope that we can make the advance booking methods employed as transparent as possible by issuing the following information.

One point first: We have regularly faced criticism of our ticket hotline in the past, yet an intensive examination has brought us to the conclusion that there is currently no real alternative to the procedure that has been selected. We do not believe that an Internet-based ticket drawing procedure like the one we implemented for individual matches in the 2011/2012 season is any fairer.

For your information, we would like to add that the hotline fans need to dial at the beginning of the advance sales period has up to 500 free lines. This means that 500 requests can be dealt with simultaneously – via a process that is conducted by a voice computer. At peak times such as those preceding matches against Bayern Munich and Schalke 04, however, we have previously registered up to 300,000 dialling attempts on one single day, thus explaining why the hotline is often busy.

We guarantee that as soon as one of the 500 booking transactions is completed via the hotline, that line will be made available to callers immediately. However, while the 500 lines are occupied by fans completing booking transactions, our hotline will of course be busy. We ask you to understand that there may sometimes be difficulties getting through to our hotline; these are simply attributable to the immense demand for tickets.

Lastly, we would like to take the opportunity to point out that BVB fan clubs will also receive preferential treatment in the new season. The fan support service has therefore made a binding commitment to inform fan clubs of the available ticket allocation for the respective fan club 48 hours before tickets for both home and away matches go on sale to members in the future. In addition, we reserve the right to occasionally adapt the standard advance sales methods to the current requirements for the distribution of away tickets.’


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