With Palace’s new American investors giving the club a significant cash injection, the matchday and non-matchday offering at Selhurst Park is set to undergo a facelift, and Chairman Steve Parish says the improved stadium has got to offer quality at every level for those visiting the venue.
“We’ve got fans of every demographic so we need a product for all of them. We need to improve general admission and where possible keep the ticket prices down. If you look at Arsenal and Tottenham they’ve got huge incomes from their more affluent fans, people paying £10,000 £15,000 a season for that experience, we need to offer those packages to fans that want them, equally we need to make sure we still improve the experience for the everyday fan.”
Away from the footballing side of the business, Parish, who bought the club when the team were competing in the Championship, has already implemented a number of changes to a place he calls ‘home’, and is passionate about giving fans a product which is quality for their money.
“You can’t have excellence on the pitch if it’s not shared by everybody at the club, so everything we try and do, we try and do well. Every year we have a tasting day with all the retail food, the corporate food I’m eating it at every game because we have it in the Boardroom, and we’ve made various improvements to chefs and kitchen equipment.
"We’re constantly trying to improve every area of the club, we want to be the best club we can be on the pitch, in catering, in retail food, in merchandise, just the best we can be. I think of everybody who is coming to the stadium as coming to my home, and if I don’t give them a product that’s commensurate with what they pay then I’m ashamed.”
Freezing season ticket and general admission prices for a second year running, the Chairman is keen to keep existing fans happy, but is also looking to the future and the potential of the club to attract new supporters when the stadium’s capacity is extended.
However, with other clubs sounded out for losing their matchday atmosphere when the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ take residence, managing the balance between corporate guests and those singing in the stands becomes a significant factor – something Parish says the club will get right.
“If we build a new main stand, we’re looking at 4,000 more general admission tickets and 2,000 corporate, so the balance will be right in the main stand and in other areas there’ll be more general admissions. We’ve just got to make sure we get the balance right and still keep up with the rest of football so we’ve got a product for everyone who wants to come.”
Steve Parish was appearing as a guest speaker at Selhurst Park’s Business Club Lunch. The event gives the club’s corporate partners the opportunity to network, share contacts and ideas, and brings together like-minded people from different industry sectors.
For further information about becoming a member of the Business Club Lunch, please contact Anna McCarthy on 020 8768 6013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org