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Block D Season Ticket Holders to Move
Tuesday, 4th Jun 2024 12:09

Town have written to season ticket holders in Block D of the Cobbold Stand informing them that their seats will be incorporated into the increased away fans section from the start of the new season.

The 220 tickets in Block D have been the most expensive at Portman Road - renewal this year was £903 - and a decade ago were cited in surveys as the dearest in the Football League as a whole.

The premium halfway-line tickets came with padded seats, a complimentary matchday programme and access to bar facilities.

Premier League rules dictate that the club has to increase the visitors’ allocation by 1,000 to around 3,000 and therefore the away end will now stretch across into the centre of the Cobbold Stand.

CEO Mark Ashton revealed last month that the various changes needed to bring the stadium up to Premier League standard would require 750 season ticket holders to move seats with the club having no choice in the matter.

“The one thing I’m going to ask the fans to be understanding of why we’re making some of the changes,” he told TownTV soon after promotion was confirmed.

“That may mean that you have sat in a specific seat in this stadium for a long time, but you may not sit in it next season because we are going to have to move some people. There is no choice.

“So please don’t complain to the staff that you’re having to move seat, that decision has been made and it’s been made for a reason.

“Again, I would ask the fantastic way the fanbase has approached change in the past to do the same again because these are changes we have no choice other than to make.”

Photos on social media over the weekend showed the seats in Block D having been removed and yesterday holders of season tickets in that section received an email confirming their switch.

“Everyone at Ipswich Town Football Club would like to thank you for your fantastic support last season and trust you are looking forward to the new season in the Premier League,” the email reads.

“You may have seen in the media that, due to Premier League requirements, the club must undertake some significant changes to Portman Road over the summer months.

“Some of these changes directly impact the stadium seating plan, and as such the club is making contact with those affected supporters over the next few weeks to highlight these changes.

“One of the largest changes to Portman Road will see the capacity of away supporters increasing from 2,000 to 3,000 to meet Premier League requirements.

“Following an extensive process thoroughly reviewing the best way to accommodate this increase, we are writing to confirm that Block D will sadly no longer exist as an area of home seating, as this will be reconfigured for use by away supporters.

“We therefore now need to work with you to find alternative seating within Portman Road. With this in mind our premium options giving you the same benefits such as padded seating and preferable views are within Block X in the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand Upper Tier or Block Y in the West Stand Upper Tier.

“In addition, all other areas of the stadium are also available to relocate to should you wish.

“Once again thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at Portman Road next season for Premier League football.”

Long-term, Town have plans to replace the current Cobbold Stand, which is now more than 50 years old.

Photo: Matchday Images

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churchmans added 12:17 - Jun 4
Build a new stand! Increase the capacity of the whole stadium i remember under Evans there was a plan to use grants to make Portman Rd a stadium used in the euro champio ships

statto72 added 12:24 - Jun 4
They should put away fans in the left corner of the Sir Alf - upper and maybe also lower. Thats what’ll happen eventually when the Cobbold is demolished. Besides, Ashton doesn’t like having the away section where it is anyway due to premium seating being used for segregation.
Or are his hands tied on this one?

virginblue added 12:29 - Jun 4
Always amazes me how many experts in Stadium Management we have in our fan base.

Alphawhiskey added 12:30 - Jun 4
If we survive in the Prem for a season or so, i can see a new stand being built.
From what i understand, its already been designed etc, for future-proofing the ground.
I'm guessing we could pull in 35-38k fans?


kizaitfc added 12:42 - Jun 4
The fans being moved, would be in moved in the near future anyway when the plans to rebuild are put into place.

I suspect this is one of many reasons the club has taken this option rather than moving the away fans. I am sure if the club could keep the higher paying ST holders happy they would certainly do so, as Ashton says they have no choice

Stu_boy added 12:49 - Jun 4
In the worst case scenario, if the club is relegated, will the away allocation remain at 3000? If the club is relegated would they revert the away allocation and just sell matchday tkts in that section? It'll be difficult to sell season tkts in that section in case the club gets on the yoyo train and we would have to relocate those season tkt holdets each time the club went back up

blues1 added 12:51 - Jun 4
There simply isn't anywhere else in the ground the away fans can go. Stattos suggestion ofcthe sir alf stand simply couldn't work, as would mean all home and away fans both entering and leaving the stadium by the same entrances/exits. So not practical. Plus it's all very well sayingvput them elsewhere, but it would still mean fans having to be moved. So makes sense to simply extend the away section where it is now

AlanG296 added 12:52 - Jun 4
Sensible decision by the Club, the obvious way to increase the away fan allocation to meet the PL requirements.

Spirit_of_78 added 12:58 - Jun 4
churchmans I wonder why they didn't think of that! you should have been on the review board! I'm sure if they start work they'll be finished before the start of the new season!
Really? get a grip with success and growth comes change, you either want success and everything that comes with it or you don't, I want it and want our club to get back to where they belong. We are Premier League! bring it on COYB'S

Bazza8564 added 13:04 - Jun 4
Unavoidable with the current stadium configuration and I suspect many of thos fans are balanced in their views given the alternative of being surrounded by visitors.
Clearly none of us yet knows what the new Cobbold stand might look like, but I know MA has previously said it's unfortunate that visitors have some of the very best seats.
I totally guessing, but if the SAR Cobbold stand new became a wrap around in the top tier only over where the TV is now, and it was a large top tier, visitors might end up in there plus or minus a bit. It might not quite hold 3000 but who knows. Suggest thats a few years away though

Ansty added 13:44 - Jun 4
I'm properly pissed off.
Sat there for years now got to sit in alf Ramsey upper.
Seriously considering telling them to do 1.
I've watched sh t for years now we get to the prem I have to sit behind a goal.

ChrisFelix added 14:00 - Jun 4
Ansty I agree with you. Why give some of the best seats in the ground to away fans. With the move back to standing areas ( which I disagree with ) why not use the area at the front of the Cobbold stand

ChrisFelix added 14:00 - Jun 4
Ansty I agree with you. Why give some of the best seats in the ground to away fans. With the move back to standing areas ( which I disagree with ) why not use the area at the front of the Cobbold stand

Saxonblue74 added 14:11 - Jun 4
No alternative Ansty, what do you suggest? Let me know if you tell them to "do one" and I'll buy your Hens Teeth Ticket!

itfc2024 added 14:41 - Jun 4
why are people moaning its a premier league rules that away fans have to get 3000 tickets your being moved not evicted stop the moaning in a seasons time your all be moved anyway when the stand is knocked down

grow_our_own added 14:46 - Jun 4
"why not use the area at the front of the Cobbold stand" - because there aren't enough seats. Only eight rows. Average seat width is 50cm, and PR pitch is 102 metres long. That's 204 x 8 = ~1,632 seats.

Cobbold is perhaps 5-10 yards longer than the pitch at both ends, but this is countered by the aisles, which prob consume ~10%. In any case, Cobbold lower won't accommodate the 3k needed by Prem regs.

Edmundo added 14:56 - Jun 4
Stand needs renewing (those "exec" boxes were rubbish inb the 90s), but will take time. I'm sure 90% agree this is short term pain for long term gain. No doubt the club will remember fans that had to move and will offer them pick of the seats in the new stand when it's built.

JewellintheTown added 15:02 - Jun 4
I'm sure all of these valid ideas & more have been thought through by far better qualified and informed people than us, so nothing will change from our suggestions.
Sad to those who are negatively affected but I'm sure Ashton & co have found the best of the possible solutions to keep a balance with as little disruption as possible.
Sadly the price of success and progress, as are the players / staff that have lost or will lose their jobs here.
Be grateful you're not a Norwich, Leeds, Birmingham, Huddersfield or Rotherham supporter.

grow_our_own added 15:42 - Jun 4
Yeh boxes consume so much stand space. If we ripped them out, just in front of the current away section, that would have meant it would have only have had to laterally encroach slightly. Wouldn't have had to redesignate block D. But was there time this close season?

Look how much bigger the front tier was without them:
Easily double the capacity of the current bottom tier. We set our capacity record in 1975 when the Cobbold was in this configuration (plus wings had been added to both ends by then). Boxes were installed after we won the cup in 1978. These days, with more demand than capacity, those extra seats will def sell. Let's say boxes cost £1,500 per game, and lower tier capacity is doubled. If seats sell for ~£25 each, that's £41k per match versus £42k for the 28 boxes. But we'd be maintaining premium seats revenue, which we're having to sell at knock-down away prices. So overall worth ripping EBs out.

There's also the intangible benefit of a better atmosphere and kudos that comes with having a higher capacity stadium. We'd be back over the 30k mark.

Marinersnose added 15:59 - Jun 4
Whilst I fully understand the implications of PL football and what it brings to the club it’s inevitable that there are enforced changes to the stadium. My Premium seat will no longer have extra legroom and it will be moved to accommodate 135 extra seats. The price remains the same ie a Premium seat price for a normal seat but with a free programme and drink. No money back no apologies and some lucky fans will be seated in Premium seats paying very low prices.
I’m not sure that this has been handled well by the club and staff were well versed with stock answers when fans complained.
A bonus is Premiership football which far out ways the seating issue. Hopefully the expansion of the ground will improve things when it eventually happens.
Looking forward to an exciting season

Carberry added 16:35 - Jun 4
If the size of the ground is less than 30,000 you only need to provide 10% of the capacity to away supporters, in the Premier League.
Ours is just over 28,000 with segregation, isn't it? So 2,800 plus a few, not 3000.

churchmans81 added 16:41 - Jun 4
I’m one of those affected and whilst not happy to move from the half way line in D Block to alternative seating in the West Stand when faced with the option of seeing us take on Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal from that viewpoint rather than watching us play Oxford, Plymouth and Millwall in D Block in the Championship then bring it on!!

Linkboy13 added 16:47 - Jun 4
There seems to be a fcuk you Jack im ok attitude on here. Although it's unavoidable i would be devastated if i had to move my seat after years of being there. I think those people who have to suffer the inconvenience should be heavily compensated if not reimbursed until they are in seats that are of similar viewing quality.

Justlooking added 16:49 - Jun 4
They've just sent the same email to us holders of tickets in Block Y. They want to swap the press box and Block Y.

Runner added 18:14 - Jun 4
Whatever was done would not have made 100% of the fan base/season ticket holders happy.
Can you imagine ITFC telling the Premier league we don't want to be in their club because 750 of our fans don't want to move seats!!!!!!!!!

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