EFL explains why 'incredible consistent' Stoke City are setting the standard

The bet365 Stadium, home of Stoke City, who have been given a gold award bv the EFL for family experience on match days.
-Credit: (Image: Plumb Images)

Stoke City have been singled out for the "human touch... deeply embedded into the culture" that has seen the club named one of the best in class in the EFL for families on match days.

Stoke have been ranked as one of the top five in the Championship, League One and League Two for family experience. It is a third year on the spin they have been presented with a gold award, one of only 13 to get the honour this time around.

It comes after an independent assessment of categories ranging from buying tickets to activities, facilities and communications. The club is now in the process of building a new fan zone to step up their offer again.

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The family area concourse, which provides several free of charge activities for young supporters, including mini golf and football, face painting, entertainment and access to games’ consoles, was ranked as the in the EFL

Simon King, chief operating officer, said: “We are proud to attain a gold award for family excellence for the third season in a row - an achievement testament to the dedication of our people to providing an amazing fan experience.

"We are continuously seeking to enhance match days for all Stoke City supporters and we know there are things we can do to improve. Providing an ever more engaging, welcoming and accessible environment for families is fundamental to that. Last season, we were able to implement changes based on supporter suggestions received via our post-match surveys and there’s going to be even further opportunities for us to learn from the feedback of our fans moving forward.

“Regular two-way communication is crucial and is going to gain significantly increased prominence moving forward following the publishing of our Fan Engagement Plan and the rollout of regular fan assemblies.

“With the introduction of a new Fan Zone and our atmosphere enhancing plans, which include an additional family friendly seating area, we can look forward with excitement at the opportunities we have to increasingly make a trip to the bet365 Stadium a full day out with family and friends.”

Stoke were praised in this year's report for the "dedication and knowledge" of staff across ticket office, club shop, community, catering and safety departments.

The EFL report states: “The Potters continue as one of the leaders on family engagement and this season’s two EFL Family Excellence visits once again pick out how well the club personalises the experience.

“Communications are well-timed, informative and engaging and the quality of the activities for children (especially in the concourse) are superbly facilitated.

“The performance was incredibly consistent too. Most of all, however, it is the human touch that demonstrates just how deeply supporter engagement is embedded in the culture at the bet365 Stadium.”

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