The new electronic ticketing system which is being introduced in BOV Premier League and selected U*BET FA Trophy matches was launched on Thursday during a press conference at the MFA Technical Centre. A new system meant to increase the clubs’ income from gate money, eliminate abuse and also ensure security, faster entrance to the stadium and more accountability.
Vassallo explained that for this season, the electronic ticketing system will be used for BOV Premier League and U*BET FA Trophy matches when Premier League clubs are involved at four venues, namely the National Stadium, Hibernians Stadium, Victor Tedesco Stadium and Centenary Stadium.
In each of these stadiums, except for the Hibernians Stadium, turnstiles were installed which would work either electronically and manually. Access to stadiums will be as usual with the sole difference being that the ticket will now be scanned by a terminal.
Vassallo explained that there will be two types of tickets: those bought by supporters at the ticket booths and which will be scanned at the terminals in the turnstiles and the electronic cards which will contain all the necessary information about the holder of the card.
There will be four of these cards, namely:
BLUE – providing VIP access to all BOV Premier League and U*BET FA Trophy matches;
BLUE & WHITE – providing VIP access for the BOV Premier League and U*BET FA Trophy matches for one particular club. Holders of this card cannot watch other games;
ORANGE – providing access for all matches from the stands;
WHITE – providing access for the matches of a particular club.
He said that such distinction was necessary as although clubs shared an increase of 88% in game money, amounting to € 325,000, it was found out that one third of the people watching Premier League matches were using a complimentary card. Therefore this new system will lead to a potential increase in gate money for Premier League clubs.
When a ticket is scanned, a spectator is given eight seconds to go through the turnstiles. To help supporters, stewards will be present for a number of months, until they get used to the new system.
The new turnstiles were not installed at the Hibs Stadium as this stadium will benefit of heavy investment at the end of the season to upgrade it and therefore the association felt that the turnstiles should not be installed and then removed at the end of the season.
The MFA CEO said intensive work is being carried out at the Victor Tedesco Stadium thanks to which the capacity has now been increased considerably. There is now also the possibility of allocating two-thirds of the stand to a particular team which usually brings to the stadium much more supporters than the other team.
Bjorn Vassallo said the association will focus more on marketing and branding. He said a new three year agreement was signed with Bank of Valletta as the main sponsor of the National Leagues. Other sponsors are Maltco Lotteries who sponsor the FA Trophy and FXDD who will be sponsoring the national team.
He also spoke about the upgrading of facilities – refurbishing of the Millennium Stand, new seats all around the circa 18,00 capacity stadium, the refurbishing of the main stand, embellishment of the facade at this stand, new fencing around the pitch, the laying of a new synthetic track and lately a new LED system and bigger electronic scoreboard to replace the previous one have given the stadium the facelift all football lovers have longed for.
Dressing rooms have been upgraded beyond recognition, besides the building of a new doping control office and modern media facilities, with a new flash interview area and a new press conference room have enhanced the place.
The VIP tribune, the president’s lounge, clubs’ lounges, bar and restaurant and an inviting reception area have also added to the comfortable surroundings.
Other servicing facilities have also been upgraded and these include a new laundry room, new stores, new staff room and facilities for better turf preparation on the pitch which comprise new pre-seeding machinery and equipment for related work.
To improve security, moats at the West Stand, a closed circuit TV, a police depot, an adequate traffic management system and new electronic turnstiles with information scrollers are all envisaged.
As part of the new electronic ticketing system, the tickets will still be available from ticket booths on match days, however in the future these will eventually be sold from authorised pre-sellers.
There will be various categories of ticket pricing for the BOV Premier League and U*BET FA Trophy matches. These are as follows:
Adults – €6
Karta Anzjan – €4
Children Under 12 – €1
A new Match Operations Department has been set up and will be responsible for all organisational matters concerning the match day operation. Organisational features on BOV and U*BET matchdays will also be introduced as part of the upgrade in the build-up to a top division match / branding set-up. These include an MFA venue delegate, a media officer, a stadium manager and a VIP host. Such innovations will help towards ensuring more standardisation and professionalism on match days.
Other branding innovations include a matchday manual with content including guidelines for the venue team and clubs, featuring the concept, activities, countdowns, information on stadium facilities, audiovisual and branding, and working practice and procedures.
The MFA is pleased to announce the investment for improving five different regional stadia – Victor Tedesco Stadium, Sirens, Rabat, Luxol and Mosta Football Grounds.
There will also be a new composition in all divisions, which will result into a vaster participation, thus generating more enthusiasm and widespread competition.
The First, Second and Third Divisions will undergo changes in their composition where standard entrance prices will be – Adults €5, Karta Anzjan €2.50 and Under 12 €1.
The overall objective of the MFA is to bring football back to the various localities of our country.