- Loughgall and Portadown join ticketing leader
- Further surge in attendances expected
- Priority access for travelling fans
The Future Ticketing family in the Northern Ireland Football League has expanded this season with the addition of a further two clubs.
Loughgall and Portadown have partnered with the digital ticketing provider as appreciation of its benefits continues to grow.
NIFL Premiership side Loughgall and Championship team Portadown join a Future Ticketing portfolio in the league which also includes Ballymena United, Carrick Rangers, Coleraine, Crusaders, Glenavon, Glentoran, Larne, Linfield and Newry City.
The new Sports Direct Premiership season kicks off this evening (Friday, August 4, 7.45pm) with a fascinating clash when Coleraine welcome Ballymena United to the Coleraine Showgrounds.
Rory Traynor, Client Success Manager with Future Ticketing for all 11 partner clubs, also noted that four of them have played European football this summer, champions Larne, Linfield, Crusaders and Glentoran.
Traynor paid tribute to the clubs and their fans: “It’s an exciting time to be involved with teams in the Irish League. Clubs and their fans have really embraced the digital transformation in recent years, and that can be seen in the practices that are in place and which are now second nature to all involved.”
Indeed, Future Ticketing is especially proud that its state-of-the-art software has proved agile enough to suit the needs of 56-time champions Linfield and the club from Loughgall in Armagh, rated as the smallest settlement in Europe to boast a top-flight side.
Traynor added: “This year in particular I have noticed a massive uptake by the fans in digital season tickets, with clubs actively trying to reduce their plastic use where possible, and fans have really got on board with this. Future Ticketing has helped facilitate this with our digital ticketing app that is available to all of our partners.”
After the 2023/2024 campaign curtain-raiser between Coleraine and Ballymena, one of the best supported teams in the league, Glentoran, make the trip to Glenavon on Saturday.
Last season was a record-breaking one for attendances in the Premiership with some 360,000 fans going through the turnstiles.
The indications are that numbers will surge once again and Future Ticketing has developed a priority access system for travelling fans.
Future Ticketing’s advanced applications allow clubs to identify the most loyal fans and reward them accordingly.
Traynor said: “It’s great to see clubs cooperating closely together on this. No matter how fierce the rivalry is, all clubs want to provide their fans with the best product and solution available, and away ticket priority access has become a huge trend in the past year.”
Elsewhere in the top division this weekend, Newry City, a club whose association with Future Ticketing dates from when they first went digital, are at home to Loughgall. The first round of fixtures reaches a climax on Monday evening (7.45pm) when champions Larne open the defence of their title by entertaining Dungannon Swifts at Inver Park.
In the Playr-Fit Championship all 12 sides play on Saturday afternoon in an action-packed opening day which sees Future Ticketing partner Portadown travel to Tyrone to take on Dergview.