After a hiatus of more than 500 days, fans enjoyed a positive stadium experience on their return to Keepmoat Stadium for Rovers’ two pre-season friendlies.
Following both the Newcastle United and Sheffield United fixtures, surveys were distributed to supporters with the following feedback received from more than 350 attendees.
Across three different categories, 95% of supporters rated their interactions with the Box Office as either good or very good, with 99% of supporters suggesting their Box Office experience was average or better.
92% of respondents rated their interactions with club officials as good or very good, with 99% of supporters saying their interactions were average or better.
93% of respondents rated the cleanliness of the stadium (both inside and out) as good or very good, 99% said it was average or better.
81% rated the cleanliness of the toilets as good or very good, with 97% saying it was average or better
With more than 3,000 opposition supporters in attendance at both games, 88% still said their safety experience was good or very good while 98% said it was average or better
Across six touch points, 39% rated their experience as good or very good, with 77% suggesting it was average or better. Based on individual comments through the survey the majority of respondents suggested the area that needed most attention was the speed and quality of service. Catering vans were seen as a welcome addition with 60% of those who used them rating their experience as good or very good, 90% rated their experience as average or better.
Across different aspects of the matchday experience supporters were asked to rate touch points that specifically applied to them, with the following results:
Car parking 70% good or very good 89% average or better
Ticket collections 82% good or very good 94% average or better
Family facilities 85% good or very good 98% average or better
Disabled facilities 82% good or very good 95% average or better
WiFi (PILOT) 36% good or very good 59% average or better
Chief Executive Gavin Baldwin said: “Overall, we’re pleased with the feedback we have received from supporters.
"A lot of effort across the entire club was put into getting the stadium ready for supporters and the matchday operations. Across both games, we lost 40% of our match day staff with less than 24 hours’ notice due to COVID-19 positive cases or self-isolation requirements and so had to hire in agency staff and volunteers literally within hours of the doors opening. It is really pleasing to see that we still managed to achieve some positive results.
“We’ve had fans notice that senior members of staff were on car parks and former staff helping out across box office, catering and reception areas. The staff work so hard for the club and each other and it’s really pleasing to see that come through into the fans matchday experience.
“There are things we know we can do better or ways we can improve. The closure of the middle West Stand exit is something we have been asked to do by third parties as part of creating a red zone for playing staff and so we are looking at how we can adjust this as it creates further problems.
“We know some fans are apprehensive due to COVID-19 and so dedicated social distanced seating will be in operation for league games in certain parts of the ground, so we can support those who require an extra level of COVID-19 security.
“During fans absence, we have worked hard at bringing improvements such as barcode ticket entry. Again, we received specific positive feedback about how well this had worked, alongside the welcome addition of more contactless machines at the catering kiosks and the welcome addition of catering vans. We even received positive feedback about how good the pitch looks, which is credit to Andy Thompson and his team who won an award for the pitch last season and have continued to improve standards daily.
“We will continue to work hard to support fans’ return to the stadium and ensure the match day experience can be enjoyed by all.”