From the beginning of the 2023/24 season, Bristol Rovers will enter into a new partnership with Axess and Ticketmaster, as the three parties come together to deliver the best ticketing and access control solution for fans at The Memorial Stadium.
At the heart of this new partnership will be the introduction of Axess software and scanning hardware for access control at the stadium.
Axess has always been at the top of its game when it comes to installing its systems into new stadia around the world, such as the Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Nokia Arena, Finland and Banc of America Stadium in California. They were over the moon to take on the challenge of retro-fitting The Memorial Stadium for this project.
Peter Oliver, Managing Director of Axess UK, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Bristol Rovers and Ticketmaster as we introduce Axess’ high-quality stadium access control system into the UK market. In an established market, innovation, quality and reliability is of equal importance as we move into the era of digital tickets.”
The summer transformation will see new ticket scanners on all of the turnstiles and upgraded hand scanners available for stewards, allowing them to support fans across all areas of the ground. In addition, the club will have two new pedestal scanners to operate in the hospitality areas, delivering a premium experience for guests.
None of this would be possible without the extension of the club’s agreement with the world’s leading ticket service provider, Ticketmaster. The club has operated with Ticketmaster for a number of seasons, but the two will now pair up with Axess to manage ticketing as well as stadium access.
The club’s Retail and Ticketing Manager, Pete Weymouth, said: “Being able to work with one company for ticketing and fan entry into the stadium will make processes at the club a lot smoother. We suffered some challenges at the start of last season, and it took a lot of work going between the numerous companies we were working with. Since that point, Ticketmaster has worked with us to get us back to where we should be, and now we’ll move forward with the new Axess system, I am confident of delivering a service to our fans next season that exceeds their expectations.”
The club saw a record number of Season Ticket holders sign up for the 2022/23 season and servicing those needs, as well as offering a match-by-match product, is the number one task for the team at Rovers.
With the announcement of the new stand in the South section of the stadium, the club has taken the decision to issue new Season Tickets to all their fans for the 2023/24 season, and having the correct access control processes in place for this is key.
The Axess products will offer fans the choice of card, ticket, phone or using NFC-based “contactless” tickets, allowing the maximum protection against fraudulent entry. With crowds looking to reach over 12,000 at The Mem for the first time in years, it’s important that the operational team know exactly who is in the stadium. Axess and TM1 entry will deliver this for the club.
It’s the first time that Axess will have taken on a stadium like this in the UK and their Head of International Stadia Business Unit, Christian Heidegger, is excited to see it unfold: “The UK is a large and established market for stadium access, but since the Covid-19 pandemic requirements have changed, and we are delighted to be taking our first digital steps with Bristol Rovers.”
Head of Sales at Rovers, David Bright, added: “For us it was simple, we made the decision to go with Ticketmaster for tickets and access control and, for this to happen, we had to invest in Axess products for the stadium.
“In the first meeting with them, we were very impressed with their team, their tech and their eagerness to work with us in partnership, not just a transaction. When fans come back to The Mem next season, we want to show them that we haven’t sat on our hands all summer, we’ve put the work in to raise the standards. The Memorial Stadium is their home, so it’s making sure that we deliver a product that they can say they are proud of when talking to other fans.”
Bristol Rovers join an illustrious list of stadiums that operate using an Axess and Ticketmaster partnership, with the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami - home of the Dolphins - and Miami F1 Grand Prix in the US being a flagship client.
Rovers will be hoping that it can deliver an NFL matchday experience level to its own fans next season.