Smoking at the Bank

Let’s be honest, how many of us have noticed the suspiciously smoke-filled toilets underneath the Coop stand? I don’t think the secret smokers are fooling anyone, and from what I understand they won’t have to much longer.

As you may be aware I have had dialogue with Liam Scully recently, specifically over the new fan zone and other initiatives. One point I have been asked to raise is the possibility of smoking ‘bubbles’ which allow those of us with a nicotine addiction to grab some poison at half time. Whilst a solution isn’t imminent, I understand it is currently being looked into.

The main issue is that the Coop Stand doors open out onto a public highway which means it isn’t as straightforward as simply roping off an area and opening the doors. It may be easier in other parts of the ground, but the Sincil Drain side does pose problems. I would imagine that the council will have to be in agreement if something does happen.

It worked very well at Notts County and one thing that has changed significantly at other grounds since we’ve been in non-league is the focus on fan experience. I was delighted with the welcome I received at Wycombe and Notts County, and that has been echoed by those that travelled to Stevenage also. In the last six years the has ben a movement towards treating the paying fan with dignity and respect, and that includes not only stewarding but also attitudes to smoking and drinking. I appreciate it isn’t perfect everywhere, but Lincoln City are looking to approach the issues in the same way as those other, fan-friendly clubs.

The real positive is that something is being looked into at all. I’m understanding they had something similar set up at Doncaster when Liam was there and the demonization of smokers is something that is losing pace quickly. These days every fan is being accommodated as much as possible, and sensible debate about the options seems possible. We know smoking is bad but having banned it in pubs and made it more expensive than a mortgage, if you haven’t already given up you’re not likely too. Football clubs are recognising that and looking to work with the remaining few that still think an early death is a fair trade off for a half-time fag.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: off the pitch we are moving forward at a frightening pace. Helgy touched on it the other night in the FPS promo article, the bond between the club and the fans is second to none and it seems we’re continuing to build relationships and work together to improve the fan experience. The fan zone is just the first step and a sensible approach to smoking at half time is another.

I’m also informed that the ‘introduce a friend’ season ticket cheques will be out in the post over the next few days. Again I know this has been something on people’s minds and the club are on with it. Everything takes time, but rest assured all the promises the club makes they will keep, including the overall improvement of the fan experience.

 

3 Comments

  1. Yep Donny have it outside the doors backing onto a car park. Useful for those stuck on a train until half time to be able to get in without too much hassle 🙂

  2. I have to say that your blogs keep me more informed than most other items from the club, perhaps they should incorporate the ‘Stacey West’ in the website somehow; or you probably prefer to be totally independent?

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