FC Nantes continues to build on its victory in the Coupe de France on May 7 and qualification for the group stage of the Europa League. While the number of subscribers had fallen sharply last season, the curve of cardholders to attend the home matches of Antoine Kombouaré’s proteges suddenly jumped. From 4,000 to 12,899 in just one season. A record for more than 15 years and the 2006/2007 season, as well as a renewed enthusiasm, evidenced by the some 30,000 spectators expected this Saturday evening for the first match of the Canaries in their lair, which the new head of general public income, Nicolas Checcacci, is trying to decipher. Maintenance.
Affordable first prices
How many new subscribers did you register for this season?
6,121 subscribers was the record number of new subscribers over a season, in 2001/2002, and we are now at more than 7,000. The record is beaten but, let’s remain humble, we are starting from weak bases since last year there were fewer subscriptions due to the fact that it only covered 12 meetings. [elle s’était déroulée en novembre et avait été très courte, ndlr]. On the other hand, if there is a figure to remember, it is that it has been 15 years since we had so many subscribers.
How do you explain this number of subscribers?
There was incredible enthusiasm last year with this epic in the Coupe de France. There is also the fact that this team has released incredible values, that there have been matches with strong emotions at home between Paris, Lens, Rennes and Bordeaux. The yellow and green people have experienced emotions and I think that people really want to experience this all year long. We surf on it and if there are so many subscribers, it’s also because we offered very affordable prices.
That’s to say ?
There are different categories in our subscriptions [de 171 euros en Loire à 798 euros en Océane bas, ndlr]. In Loire and Erdre, i.e. 13,000 of the 35,000 places in Beaujoire, the match is less than 11 euros. This means that 30% of the stadium was open for less than 11 euros per game and in the Loire, 6,000 supporters subscribed. We are one of the clubs that offer the cheapest subscription and above all, our first prices concern a lot of places, which is not the case in many stadiums. The goal was to send a message to our supporters by telling them: this year, we want enthusiasm, fervor and we are not going to take advantage of having had a good season to increase prices.
“The idea is to fill Beaujoire with the “Europe Packs””
What about European markets?
We stay on the same logic with, for subscribers, a “Europe Pack” in Loire with matches at 19 euros and 25 euros in Erdre [de 33 à 59 euros en Océane, ndlr]. For the moment, there is no single match but if on August 31, the end date of the marketing of these packs, there are still places left, we will obviously sell them match by match. But the idea is to fill Beaujoire with the “Europe Packs” which are available exclusively to subscribers until Monday. And from Wednesday, the general public will in turn be able to buy them.
Are you aware of the criticism from supporters who faced issues on the site to book these packs?
There was indeed an influx of connections on the first day with more than an hour of waiting on the website. We are sorry for the supporters who faced technical problems and who had to be patient. Yet it is something that we have tried to anticipate as much as possible. We said to ourselves: “There were hiccups last year, how can we prevent them from happening again?“Unfortunately, there were small malfunctions but we are working on them and I think that the cut linked to the Football World Cup will allow us to work in depth on our tools techniques and succeed in making it more fluid.
Do you have an attendance target at La Beaujoire this season?
We were at around 22,000 spectators per match, on average. Obviously, we want to do better even if we lose good matches with the relegations of Bordeaux and Saint-Étienne. But for the meeting against Lille, there will be between 28,500 and 30,000 people at the stadium against 24,000 for this same poster, last season.