Entry Issues at Forest Green Rovers Match

rebus

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Had a conversation with Alan Walsh after the match. I think there a number of mitigating circumstances however only half the turnstiles were working on the North and West stands. For a currently unknown reason one half of the turnstiles failed to acknowledge that they had been loaded with today's game. There will be an investigation and a determination that it won't happen again.

However
  • People sitting in new seats and new stands so not being familiar with the turnstile to use
  • All paper tickets (which seem to be less reliable than cards)
  • An evening kickoff with people arriving later
  • A high-attendance
all probably contributed.

None of the above were the issue though, and if all turnstiles were working we would all have got into the stadium for kick-off. As it was some people got in around 15 minutes after kick-off.

He also is aware of queueing issues and that wayfinding can be improved.

Hopefully it is all teething problems and the turnstile issue in particular can be fixed and proven to be fixed.
This is only game seven for this stadium with fans in. I think we have to cut the club some slack here.

Yes, those turnstiles not working is never ideal but if that had happened at Griffin Park you may have seen even bigger queues and longer waits to get in.
 

Banana

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The season card is def quicker, just a tap like a debit card. The paper ticket I had to hold it down for 3/4 seconds, plus issues with unreadable qr codes
Hopefully if the club let's us buy out own seats in future cup games then we can use our passes....
 

Les Beeavinu

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Same as Gate L. Sure that all gates on the North Stand entrances have 3 turnstiles each of which the middle one is ‘out of use’ for social distancing.
No. As stated earlier, it was system failure affecting North and West stands. Today was not normal.
 

Banana

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Well it would have been useful if there was some signage to indicate that, or a steward could have been proactive to divert some from the long queues for M and N that way!
All queues were long. No point thrashing.

However tickets needs to state ALL the turnstiles you can use.
 

BEEcool

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No. As stated earlier, it was system failure affecting North and West stands. Today was not normal.
Fair enough. But some still had a ❌ on them. I can’t recall if all turnstiles were in use for the Arsenal game.
 

PhilE

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Well it would have been useful if there was some signage to indicate that, or a steward could have been proactive to divert some from the long queues for M and N that way!
Coming from KB station I checked ticket and it said P and that was the first one I saw.. just before the Merch stand. Not sure if you could use any entrance or just the one on ticket.

Sure they were all similar length anyway.
 

hatfieldbee

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The stewards at W131 were useless after kickoff. No help to a number of 1st timers who had got held up in the turnstile chaos and were trying to find their seats, 10-15 minutes after ko. "..somewhere down there..." they were told by said stewards, particularly to a woman with 2 children. She had been left to her own devices to try and find their seats in row 9. Must have spent 10 minutes extra before she eventually found the correct seats.
 

Banana

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Fair enough. But some still had a ❌ on them. I can’t recall if all turnstiles were in use for the Arsenal game.
They had an X on them because they weren't working, "out of order" if you like. How much more explaining can be done!?
 

Banana

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I’m guessing they can’t ‘load’ a game onto our cards?
Not when no-one was sitting in their own seat.

A number of holes in the swiss cheese lined-up tonight.

And I'm not happy about it either, but as has been said above, we are in early days in this stadium so there will be teething issues. The challenge is to resolve them quickly and totally.
 

Ejvind

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The stewards at W131 were useless after kickoff. No help to a number of 1st timers who had got held up in the turnstile chaos and were trying to find their seats, 10-15 minutes after ko. "..somewhere down there..." they were told by said stewards, particularly to a woman with 2 children. She had been left to her own devices to try and find their seats in row 9. Must have spent 10 minutes extra before she eventually found the correct seats.

The stewards were also not great tonight, explicitly instructing people in the West Stand to sit. The reasoning I was given was "blocking the view of those behind me", which is quite an impressive claim given I stand in the back row. Considering the claims around the West Stand I'll be disappointed if that happens going forward.
 

Banana

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The stewards were also not great tonight, explicitly instructing people in the West Stand to sit. The reasoning I was given was "blocking the view of those behind me", which is quite an impressive claim given I stand in the back row. Considering the claims around the West Stand I'll be disappointed if that happens going forward.
I have found no record of anyone being asked to sit for the Arsenal game

I suspect that it wasn't the "normal" crowd in the West Stand tonight and therefore there were some complaints made that "I can't see" etc.
 

Ejvind

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I have found no record of anyone being asked to sit for the Arsenal game

I suspect that it wasn't the "normal" crowd in the West Stand tonight and therefore there were some complaints made that "I can't see" etc.

Yeah there was absolutely no issue for the Arsenal game. This was just about tonight. The Arsenal game was well handled considering it was the first full capacity outing and the club deserves credit for that too!

Perhaps that was the case with regards to complaints, but then I think it could still be better handled or perhaps made clear to people buying in the West Stand?
 

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I was appaled at the queuing as joined the queue 7.10. Missed 1/2 the first half as stuck in the queue in Lionel Road to get in N gate. When P queue cleared they let us in there. Then got up to find someone in my seat because their party of 3 were using 4 seats in row 23. Anyway quickly resolved. Marvellous view of the pitch and the 2nd half action. Felt sorry for anyone behind the people next to me as they stood most of the match.


Anyway after Southampton debacle at the weekend and them having to refund ticket holders stuck outside theor stadium, I think the club should do the same.

Bring back the turnstiles from Griffin Park as so much faster.
 

Banana

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I was appaled at the queuing as joined the queue 7.10. Missed 1/2 the first half as stuck in the queue in Lionel Road to get in N gate.
You joined the queue at 7:10pm and got in at 8:05pm?

I am not doubting you member, but I was shown the turnstile data. Everyone got in by 8pm (ish) . And it would be stretching it to suggest that everyone was in the queue at 7:10pm
 

PhilE

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You joined the queue at 7:10pm and got in at 8:05pm?

I am not doubting you member, but I was shown the turnstile data. Everyone got in by 8pm (ish) . And it would be stretching it to suggest that everyone was in the queue at 7:10pm
I joined P at about 7 and was in within 10 mins. Didn't look at other queues so maybe much longer or built up quickly.
 

Leonardo

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You joined the queue at 7:10pm and got in at 8:05pm?

I am not doubting you member, but I was shown the turnstile data. Everyone got in by 8pm (ish) . And it would be stretching it to suggest that everyone was in the queue at 7:10pm

Definately was not in by 8 and there was a lot behind us.
 

readingbee

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From the legends lounge we could see a lot of people, and I mean a lot walking past at 7:35 to get to the west stand and maybe the north. Seriously, why leave it so late?
 

Bee93

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Theres no defending this. The club once again got it wrong. The problem for me isnt that things go wrong, its the measures that are put in place for when it goes wrong...seemingly none.
Why are the turnstiles not checked on the morning of the game.
 

Leonardo

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I also thought given there were thousands still in Lionel Road at kick off it would be delayed
 

Banana

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Theres no defending this. The club once again got it wrong. The problem for me isnt that things go wrong, its the measures that are put in place for when it goes wrong...seemingly none.
Why are the turnstiles not checked on the morning of the game.
I asked the same question. There has to be some procedures put in place to ensure that everything is working well in advance and to take some remedial action if issues are found (including comms to fans to tell them to get in early as was done for the Arsenal match).

The club know all this and there is (shall we say) focus from the very top on this issue to ensure that the chances of it reoccurring are minimised.

Oh to be a football club CEO eh?!
 

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Got off train at Kew Bridge at 6:55. Waited for my mate as I had his ticket. He was a bit late then he needed a last cigarette before going in so I reckon we joined the queue at N about 7:10. Was a bit slow moving due to not all turnstiles working and slow entry with reading QR codes but we were in in time for a quick pint in the upper West concourse and in our seats before the players came out.
 

Banana

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I also thought given there were thousands still in Lionel Road at kick off it would be delayed
I asked this too. But unless it was thought to be a serious safety issue (rather than an inconvenience) then we go ahead.

I can't remember the last time a match was delayed due to crowds still at the turnstiles, but it must have been a few decades ago....

I do remember @Peter G telling a policeman to run on the pitch and tell the referee if he wanted to postpone the kick-off (which he did). But that must have been in the early 80s.
 
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Got to North stand at 19:15 and sat down with minutes to spare. When we finally got to the turnstiles the woman in front of us was unable to use the QR code on her phone. They would encourage her to try, no luck, let a couple of us in with paper tickets and again she'd try and again no luck. This went on for some time and I would've thought there was some way in which they could have just let her in? Or am I being naive?

I know it's early days but chuck in the card readers being on the wrong side of the tunnel entrance at Kew Bridge station making further delays it's not as smooth as I'd like. And to top it off tonight the railway staff were very apologetic for the fact that only one reader was working!
 

Houghton Bee

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From the legends lounge we could see a lot of people, and I mean a lot walking past at 7:35 to get to the west stand and maybe the north. Seriously, why leave it so late?

I left work at 5 and in theory should have been at the ground by 7pm absolute latest. However it transpired I got to A gate at 735pm, luckily for me I was straight in with no hassle.

I'm not blaming the club for TFL and others being useless but midweeks are, I imagine, a tight schedule for many. We dont need stuff like tickets not working and stewards not knowing whats occuring on top.
 
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We pitched up at M at 7-40 ish and we we’re in just after k.o. Steward checked tickets & didn’t need to tap in.
Monster queues at north stand & entrance N in west stand though.
As someone else has said, need much better “traffic management” after game on way to Kew Bridge. (And lighting would be nice)
 

readingbee

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I left work at 5 and in theory should have been at the ground by 7pm absolute latest. However it transpired I got to A gate at 735pm, luckily for me I was straight in with no hassle.

I'm not blaming the club for TFL and others being useless but midweeks are, I imagine, a tight schedule for many. We dont need stuff like tickets not working and stewards not knowing whats occuring on top.
Fair enough. I was thinking people still not understanding walking times to get to where they need to to enter the stadium, and I guess that will take time.
 

Banana

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We pitched up at M at 7-40 ish and we we’re in just after k.o. Steward checked tickets & didn’t need to tap in.
Monster queues at north stand & entrance N in west stand though.
As someone else has said, need much better “traffic management” after game on way to Kew Bridge. (And lighting would be nice)
Do we have TAPSgate coming?
 

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Shambles tonight. Joined the queue for N at 7.20 and finally got in just before 8, when the stewards seemed to realise they had a problem and opened the gates to let people walk through without scanning their tickets. Seems that the better the club gets on the pitch, the worse it gets off it and someone needs to step up and take responsibility here
 

Banana

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Shambles tonight. Joined the queue for N at 7.20 and finally got in just before 8, when the stewards seemed to realise they had a problem and opened the gates to let people walk through without scanning their tickets. Seems that the better the club gets on the pitch, the worse it gets off it and someone needs to step up and take responsibility here
Gates opened and let in without scanning tickets eh? ummmm.

Anyway. Now we need to concern ourselves with TAPs. If you aren't scanned in you don't get TAPs. But I am sure that that can be sorted out.
 

southcoastbee

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Gates opened and let in without scanning tickets eh? ummmm.

Anyway. Now we need to concern ourselves with TAPs. If you aren't scanned in you don't get TAPs. But I am sure that that can be sorted out.
Yep, by that stage stewards seemed to realise they had a problem and were visually checking tickets, rather than asking you to scan them in. Was in a group of 5 tonight which is a mix of ST and members, so TAPs issue will be raised in tomorrow’s email
 

ruislip bee

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We were gate J North Stand. 2 of the 3 turnstiles were not working and the queue was nearly back to the steps down from Lionel road at 7.15 when we arrived. We were in in about 15 minutes with some of J queue redirected to another gate which still only had 2 of 3 working. I had time for a quick beer and looked down the back of the access road to the steps and the queue by then was out of sight up the steps and down Lionel Road towards the A4. People were s till taking their seats a good 10 - 15 minutes after KO. On the good news front out after was easy. Wifey picked us up in Lionel road by Gunnersbury Park just after 10. Probably tonight was just a teething problem which when sorted will be fine. I had folded my ticket into 4 with the black square thing prominent in the middle and the reader had no problem with reading mine. Might be an idea for others to do the same if cards aren't an option.
 

Sandybee

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The stewards at W131 were useless after kickoff. No help to a number of 1st timers who had got held up in the turnstile chaos and were trying to find their seats, 10-15 minutes after ko. "..somewhere down there..." they were told by said stewards, particularly to a woman with 2 children. She had been left to her own devices to try and find their seats in row 9. Must have spent 10 minutes extra before she eventually found the correct seats.
I didn’t go last night, but the attendance figures indicate that it should have been easily managed. It’s a bit of a cop-out to pass it off as teething troubles in a new stadium. When I got there last Friday there was a bloke sitting in my seat, yet the steward on duty in our block just stood at the top of the stairs all evening. People were standing on their seats during the game, and a bloke ran on the pitch and had a cuddle with our lads when we scored! Maybe these stewards should be re-named usherettes or something. At least usherettes could see in the dark!
 

Mike

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The stewards were also not great tonight, explicitly instructing people in the West Stand to sit. The reasoning I was given was "blocking the view of those behind me", which is quite an impressive claim given I stand in the back row. Considering the claims around the West Stand I'll be disappointed if that happens going forward.

I was at the Arsenal match. There were a couple of people in front of me that stood up every time the ball got near the opponents goal. so we couldn’t see unless we stood up…..then those behind couldn’t see etc, etc
unless there is some understanding that the area you have bought your seat in has some unspoken understanding that you can stand, I do think people should remain seated until a goal is scored. If you are in the back row it doesn’t matter, but it could be difficult for stewards to say to one group of people it’s o.k. to stand, but not for others ( I know it’s slightly off topic, but still I think an issue)
 

JANORAK

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People turning up 20 minutes into the game was a joke my 5 year old daughter could not see anything whilst people were still coming in. The stewards in W235 were a joke - all the late comers couldn’t find there seat and the stewards had disappeared. They also watched the game rather than the fans when they bothered to stand in there positions. Complete shambles tonight - yet the Arsenal game I thought was great!!
North Stand (J) for me last night for a different view to complete the set. In the queue at 7.15 (1 turnstile working) and at my seat about 7.35pm. Next to the FGR, who were quite loud and enjoying the first half. 2nd half there was some kerfuffle behind me about the barrier/dead zone, whatever it is. Lots of stewards and a couple of cops milling around and up and down the gangway....?

Looking across to the West Stand, I was pleased to see my S/T seat was eventually occupied just after 8pm. I’ve said before that the signage there for W235 is virtually non-existent, and that’s from someone who now sort of knows where he’s going!
 
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Had a conversation with Alan Walsh after the match. I think there a number of mitigating circumstances however only half the turnstiles were working on the North and West stands. For a currently unknown reason those non-working turnstiles failed to acknowledge that they had been loaded with data for today's game. There will be an investigation and a determination that it won't happen again.

However
  • People sitting in new seats and new stands so not being familiar with the turnstile to use - everyone is ‘new’
  • All paper tickets (which seem to be less reliable than cards) - no problem when I eventually got in
  • An evening kickoff with people arriving later - not so. Got there at 7:15, queued for 50 mins
  • A high-attendance - ?????, didn’t the club know how many tickets they’d sold?????
all probably contributed.

None of the above were the issue though, and if all turnstiles were working we would all have got into the stadium for kick-off. As it was some people got in around 15 minutes after kick-off.

He also is aware of queueing issues and that wayfinding can be improved.

Hopefully it is all teething problems and the turnstile issue in particular can be fixed and proven to be fixed.
Thanks sir.
Shambles.
As you say all 4 ‘excuses’ were ‘knowns’ by the club prior to KO so reeks of bad decision making.
The night was spoilt for many first timers. Big own goal.
Did you ask why the K-O wasn’t delayed?
I asked but got normal numpty answer 😡
 

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West Stand; I got there at about 7:05ish, and the queue too no more than 5 minutes.

Given the issue of STHs being displaced I waited until just gone kick-off to move along with friends to some empty seats at the back of the stand (in the WSA bit). We’d otherwise have all been spread out away from each other and seated further down (potentially obstructing people’s views by standing as we do normally).

At about 20 minutes into the game suddenly loads of fans started pouring in and a group (definitely not usually seated in this section) came up and turfed us out. Not massively ideal.

Others I know had similar experiences, or were made by stewards to sit down, or were separated from mates etc. and had to sit on their own.

Can’t be allocating tickets this way again! At least not in the West Stand. But was not helped by so many people coming in 20 mins late
 

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Attendance not given out yet ??

Further proof that the club had a system issue ??

Brentford may be secretly hoping for an away draw tonight so they dont have another midweek Cup game to organise
 

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I was at the Arsenal match. There were a couple of people in front of me that stood up every time the ball got near the opponents goal. so we couldn’t see unless we stood up…..then those behind couldn’t see etc, etc
unless there is some understanding that the area you have bought your seat in has some unspoken understanding that you can stand, I do think people should remain seated until a goal is scored. If you are in the back row it doesn’t matter, but it could be difficult for stewards to say to one group of people it’s o.k. to stand, but not for others ( I know it’s slightly off topic, but still I think an issue)

I mean I agree, but that unspoken agreement absolutely applies to the West Stand. It's not even unspoken really.
 

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Arrived 30 minutes before kick off. In the North stand last night - enter via K. Queue was beyond the bike shelter and up the steps heading to the bridge. It was a mish mash of ‘are you in the queue for J, K or L. Stewards really didn’t have a clue how to segregate the queue into each entry point. Some old fashioned cones with a letter on top guiding you to the correct entry point would have helped. Same as others, not all turn stiles were working. Got to my seat with my son just before kick off. Hacked off as I did not get a programme. Balti pies all sold out again before the match started!
 

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Divvy the north stand queue into 3 J,K,L at the earliest point

the west stand will take some more planning even for the Arsenal game I thought 2 entrances were a bit inadequate

can we enter at any point of the stand or does your season ticket only let u in that turnstile?
 

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Divvy the north stand queue into 3 J,K,L at the earliest point

the west stand will take some more planning even for the Arsenal game I thought 2 entrances were a bit inadequate

can we enter at any point of the stand or does your season ticket only let u in that turnstile?

No you can enter through different turnstiles. I arrived at about 7pm, 5 minutes and I was in but I could see the queues getting bigger, stewards were encouraging fans to use turnstiles with shorter queues.

Having had problems getting my ticket to work at previous games I was sticking to the turnstile it stated on the ticket!!
 
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Total disaster getting in but wow give me North Stand over S106. Really want out of that.
Me to, completely different atmosphere in the North Stand friendly and homely, pleased I am not the only one who wants to move from S106. one gripe I think the the flood lights need a slight adjustment as they shine into your eyes sitting in the North Stand.
 

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Total disaster getting in but wow give me North Stand over S106. Really want out of that.
Interested to know why you say that Mori? What does the North stand offer that South doesn’t? I’m in 106 also and not overly impressed with the set up (that said the view is brilliant and it’s only been one game).
 
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