Rotherham United have begun preparations for fans to watch the Millers as they return to The Championship.
Initial suggestions are that 3,000 fans can be accommodated safely at the AESSEAL New York Stadium when Government restrictions start to be lifted.
The new season kicks off next week and the Government has an ambition to allow fans to return to live sport from October 1 with social distancing.
Pilot events, such as the snooker in Sheffield and the St. Leger in Doncaster, are part of a phased return. A number of football matches are set to be used as test events and a limited number of spectators are being welcomed back at non-league clubs, including local teams like Parkgate, Maltby Main and Dinnington Town, with guidelines in place.
At Rotherham United, club bosses are introducing a new “flexi-season ticket” that will enable fans to become eligible to purchase tickets for home fixtures at a reduced price, and be the first to see their team live.
A flexi-season ticket is available to purchase for supporters who held a full or half season ticket in the 2019/20 promotion-winning campaign. Holders will be given priority and can decide whether to buy tickets for the fixtures where attendance is reduced and guidelines like social distancing are in place.
The club said that if they sell more flexi-season tickets than capacity restrictions allow them to accommodate on a match-by-match basis (i.e. over the initially suggested 30%, around 3,000 capacity), then it is their intention to begin “grouping” supporters into ticketing “bubbles.”
If there are any remaining tickets for certain fixtures, then these will first be made available to supporters on general sale.
The club said in a statement: “With the uncertainty surrounding when and/or how many supporters will be allowed to attend fixtures at the AESSEAL New York Stadium this season and also taking into account the potential of future local lockdowns, we have made the difficult decision not proceed with season ticket sales in the same way that we have in previous years, at this time.
“We can however assure our fans that we will not lose sight of the unwavering support that you have given us, particularly in recent months and can therefore guarantee that all season ticket holders from the 2019/20 season will have the opportunity to renew their seats, when the capacity restrictions have been lifted and social distancing measures have been relaxed.
“We recognise that the landscape in terms of guidelines and restrictions is ever-changing and we will continue to monitor this closely and use any new information to make decisions with the best interests and safety of our supporters at the forefront of our minds.
“We also promise that when the guidance allows us to have a higher capacity in the stadium, we will immediately be making plans to sell season tickets on a pro rate basis for the remaining fixtures of the season.”
The club also confirmed that, following the arrangement made between the EFL and Sky Sports recently, supporters will be able to stream all matches which are NOT selected for LIVE coverage by Sky Sports on iFollow.
Match passes for each individual fixture will be priced at £10 each, with the club taking a large percentage of each sale in revenue.
Early season fixtures include the local derby with Sheffield Wednesday on October 28.