Firstly, I must thank you for your support this past season in what has been a period of transition for your Club. We may not have got as many wins on the court as we’d all have liked, but I hope you can see the improvements being made away from the court, which we are confident in time will translate into the team.
Despite the lack of on court success, the support you have provided has been truly extraordinary, with crowds actually increasing by about 20% this season.
When taking ownership of the Club in July 2017, Ross and I inherited numerous challenges and issues that we have all been working hard to address, many of which are not evident from the outside, but we have continued to try and be as open and transparent as we can with our fans where possible.
One of our biggest challenges has been to rein in costs and ensure the Club is operating within its means to facilitate long term survival. This has been no easy feat this year as revenues had steadily decreased over the past few seasons, while costs and players budgets had increased to an unmanageable level, forcing us to make some drastic cuts since taking over.
One of our biggest expenses is the ongoing use of the Plymouth Pavilions, which was sold by Plymouth City Council in 2012. Unfortunately, since it’s sale there has been no formal contract instigated between the Raiders and the Pavilions, something we’ve been working on rectifying, and the Club has seen a steady rise in venue hire fees year on year.
We have worked very hard with our friends at the Pavilions in recent months to find a working solution, and I’m delighted to say we will shortly have a new agreement in place.
However, the exercise has highlighted the precarious situation the Club currently finds itself in regards to a playing facility, as having been through a costing exercise with the Pavilions this year we know how expensive it is to convert into a basketball arena. Given the lack of other options both in the city and further afield, we are now actively looking to push forward with an arena build in the City using the Leicester Arena as guide of what can be achieved.
Having already investigated a number of potential sites and options, we have had a range of plans drawn up for different scenarios that we will be looking to publish over the coming weeks. For the future of our Club’s long term survival and success, it is now vital that we find ways to push forward with this plan, and it is currently our dream to have a new facility in place by our 40th birthday in 2023.
As this is still some seasons away, in the meantime it means we are having to continue to tighten our belts, reducing costs significantly where possible and increasing revenues where we can. Disappointingly for us this means we have had to take a close look at our ticketing structure, the result of which is some necessary amendments and increases.
Having researched our close neighbours, Plymouth Argyle and Plymouth Albion, and compared to BBL rivals such as Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow, Leicester and Newcastle, we have come to the difficult decision to introduce a new Concession price, and make the following amendments to the overall pricing:-
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*Concessions: 65 and over, 15-21 year olds, Students, Armed Forces, Nurses, Emergency Services and Foster Carers
Although it has been necessary to increase Adult and Concession prices, we have decided to actually reduce the price of a ticket for Under 14s. These prices are still extremely competitive compared to our local sporting neighbours, and very comparable to our BBL rivals, so we do hope fans will understand our need to do this.
However, the good news is that for the 2018-19 season onward, season tickets will be replaced by a new Season Membership package, which will not only include your favourite seats for the cheapest possible price, but will also include a range of additional benefits to add further value.
2018-19 Season Membership will include:-
All of this can be yours for the prices below, and given the delays we’ve suffered in being able to announce these prices, we’ve extended the date of the Early Bird to the end of June.
Early Bird – 30th June
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We fully appreciate this is a rise on the prices from last season, which is why we have looked to add additional value to the membership via discounts and partner offers. A 10% discount at Wagamama for a family of four, for example, should save you around £8-10, so I’m sure it won’t take long for the savings to add up across the season, should you wish to take advantage of them.
We’re now heading into a full summer of preparation in readiness for the 2018/19 campaign, a luxury that was not afforded to us last summer, so I’m confident that next season will be extremely exciting, full of passion and pride, and we hope the fantastic support we’ve been shown by you all this season will continue into next.
Thanks again, and keep your eyes peeled on all our normal media outlets for exciting news and developments over the summer.
Co-owner & Director