The Blackburn End upper tier will be re-opened for Blackburn Rovers’ upcoming home clash with Stoke City in order to give 2,500 new fans the chance to be part of an exciting ‘Next Generation’ of supporters.
The top section of Ewood Park’s historic home end will be open for the first time this season on Saturday April 6th as the club and Community Trust join forces to provide the chance for families to attend a fixture at the stadium for the first time or enjoy a Rovers return.
The plan to fill the section of the stadium by declaring the game as the club’s first-ever ‘Next Generation fixture’ has been a roaring success, with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust receiving over 3,500 requests for the 2,500 available tickets that they offered to the many schools, community groups and charities that they help to support on a daily basis.
The complimentary invitation to Ewood Park is going to prove particularly exciting for the future prosperity of the club’s support base, with 1,400 of the tickets – 56% of the allocation – being taken up by children. The majority of attendees are visiting as family groups, helping to create an appetite for the whole family to come and watch Blackburn Rovers together.
As a result, many of the fun and engaging activities that are offered at every game in the Blackburn Rovers Community Trust Family Stand are to be replicated in the Next Generation area, including the distribution of free fruit bags and an offer of free face painting thanks to McDonald’s at Ewood.
The location of the Next Generation area is also perfectly placed to ensure that those coming to the stadium will be passing through the Foster’s FanZone outside the Blackburn End and will also give them convenient access to Strikers’ Family Lounge in the same stand – two facilities that were cited as being key to Blackburn Rovers being named as the EFL’s Family Club of the Year last season.
Blackburn Rovers CEO, Steve Waggott, is delighted to see that the initiative has been so well received by families all over Lancashire and is looking forward to seeing the Blackburn End well populated for the visit of the Potters.
He explained: “Our mission is to always try and create a buzz and excitement around the idea of coming to watch live football and our plans for the Next Generation game are certainly going to fit that bill.
“I’m very pleased to hear that there was such a high demand for the concept when it was offered out to the many deserving groups by our award-winning Community Trust and I’m sure that it will be a day to remember for everybody that attends.
“We are taking a pro-active approach to showcasing our fantastic family facilities to thousands of potential new Blackburn Rovers supporters and we trust that they’ll enjoy it just as much as all those who are already taking full advantage of them all on a regular basis.”
Having overseen the distribution of the tickets through the club's official charity, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust chief executive officer, Gary Robinson, is highly enthused by the response.
“It’s fantastic news that there is such an appetite for Blackburn Rovers among the many worthy causes that we partner or support that an allocation of 2,500 tickets went in just a couple of weeks, meaning that we’d filled all the available seats three weeks before the fixture," he added.
“That figure would have been even higher had it not been for the need to close applications due to demand having exceeded supply so dramatically. It’s a really positive headache to have to inform a number of groups that we can’t offer them tickets this time, but we also know that they are very keen to be a part of this new initiative if we get chance to repeat it.
“A large number of those attending as part of our first Next Generation fixture will be first time fans, with many of the tickets going to families whose personal circumstances normally prevent them from being able to attend professional football on a regular basis.
“We’re proud to have been able to help deliver this wonderful concept and hope that it will make a lot of local families very happy; the perfect complement to our year-round charitable work.”
Please note that there will be no alcohol served in the area, and no betting kiosks available in The Blackburn End upper tier.