Cats app plan to fill stadium

MORE NEEDED: John Eren and Brian Cook at Simonds Stadium this week. 132182 Picture: Reg Ryan


AN APP for Geelong Cats members to resell unused tickets could reduce empty game-day seats at Simonds Stadium, club chief Brian Cook has revealed.
He said the club was working on the application, aimed at reducing the number of vacant seats from patrons reserving them but failing to attend.
“We’re noticing that we’re selling out but there are more no-shows,” Mr Cook said.
“That’s due to a combination of night fixtures, day fixtures and people only expecting to go to six of the eight games.
“The issue is about resale of those seats as distinct from actually selling them in the first place and getting people to show up.”
Mr Cook said the club had previously trialled a resale process for tickets but it was not “very popular”.
“I actually think that in Geelong when people purchase a membership they know it’s going to be part of a donation as well.
“We’ll have an application at some stage where people simply push a button and resell their seat and get those dollars back.”
The Independent reported last week that Simonds Stadium struggled to fill its 33,500 capacity, with 2014’s largest crowd totalling 27,402 when the Cats hosted North Melbourne.
Home attendances at Simonds Stadium, the MCG and Etihad Stadium dropped from an average 36,649 in 2013 to 33,915 this year.
Mr Cook was speaking at a media conference when new Sports Minister John Eren announced a recommitment of Labor’s election promise of $70 million for a stage four redevelopment of the Simonds Stadium to accomodate 36,000.
Mr Eren said the Cats, the AFL and City of Greater Geelong would fund the rest of the $90 million project, which would redevelop the stadium’s Brownlow and Jennings stands.
No federal funding was committed, he said.
“Frankly, it’s too hard to play the politics with the (federal government) that normally occurs with funding arrangements.”
Mr Eren said he was working through the finer details of a proposed trust to oversee the stadium, along similar lines to the MCG Trust.
Mr Cook said the club still wanted eight games at the ground during the construction phase from late 2015 to 2016.
“Once it is completed we’ll be pushing for nine games,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Cats have rearranged their coaching panel, with former champion defender Matthew Scarlett returning as a part-time development coach, VFL coach Matthew Knights becoming an assistant and former Geelong Falcons coach Paul Hood taking over the VFL job.

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