Fortuna Düsseldorf, a middleweight club based in Germany’s richest city and now stepping into the German second division, is unlikely to become a crucible of revolution.
But it is about to embark on an experiment that could seriously affect not just the rest of football, but the sport as a whole.Fortuna plans to offer tickets for some matches at 54,600 starting next season. – Complimentary access to the Merkur Spiel Arena.
Not a cheap ticket. Price cannot be reduced. Free for both home and away fans.
“I think this is something completely new,” club chief executive Alexander Jobst said in an interview on Thursday. ”
He admitted that the solution he and his colleagues arrived at might seem, in his words, just a little bit “disruptive.” Long before television and sponsorship, ticket sales were the first pillar of the sports industry.
It also accounts for a significant portion of Fortuna Düsseldorf’s income. Jobst said on Thursday’s conference call that the club earns him as much as €8m ($8.8m) from second-tier gate revenue each season. He said the figure was higher in 2020, when the team last played in the Bundesliga. Its income accounts for about one-fifth of the club’s total income.
According to Jobst, Fortuna, under its “new strategic vision,” seeks to replace it with commercial revenue, with goods and concessions generated by higher attendance numbers than its current attendance of around 29,000. increase income from
It has already signed deals with three partners worth approximately $45 million over five years with the aim of introducing free tickets to three games next season. Jobst hopes that if the club can find more partners, it can eventually expand its plans to include all home games. he said.
The program is unique in its German league system, famous for its fan-centric club-owning rules, low ticket prices and even ticketing gimmicks. was offering lifetime season tickets to fans who were
When considering options to attract more crowds, Jobst said such a move would simply “try to fill the stadium” after considering the more obvious option of simply lowering ticket prices. said it concluded that it would be dismissed as It also took into account the risk that fans would not be able to attend the game if the tickets were worthless in a strict economic sense. But the idea of opening up to everyone — “Football for all,” as he called Jobst — triumphed.
“We want to open Fortuna Düsseldorf to fans more than ever before,” he said. “We want to give something back. We want to be open to our fans regardless of personal price barriers. Let’s open it up and see what happens.”
He recognizes that his club’s precedent may incite or force other teams to do the same, and such ideas are more likely than elsewhere in Germany. He admits it is fairly easy to recruit in Düsseldorf, the hub of some of the biggest companies in the world.
“It’s perfect for Düsseldorf. It’s perfect for Fortuna,” he said.