Arsenal have confirmed that “a small number of technology infrastructure issues” were the reason why thousands of Arsenal supporters were delayed getting through the turnstiles ahead of last weekend’s match against Nottingham Forest.
It’s believed as many as 35,000 fans were stuck outside Emirates Stadium for up to an hour ahead of the Premier League season opener causing the kick-off to be delayed by 30 minutes.
Given the match was the first serious test of the new digital ticketing system, it wasn’t a great look for the club. In the aftermath of the match, Arsenal apologised to supporters via email and promised to investigate.
They also sent a survey to canvas opinions on the delayed entry and other matters including the atmosphere, transport and food options.
The club’s latest emailed update states:
“Thank you once again for your patience on Saturday which saw delays at the turnstiles at our opening Premier League match of the season at Emirates Stadium.
“We have completed our investigation into the cause of the problem and can confirm that a small number of technology infrastructure issues combined to create the problem.
“We have put in place a number of measures to remedy the issues and will continue to do extensive testing ahead of our next match on Saturday 26 August.
“As a result of this issue, we have received a small number of reports from Apple iPhone users that their Digital Pass is showing as expired in their wallet. We kindly ask that you check the Digital Pass ahead of the next game you are attending.”
In the last couple of years, the club have made a series of improvements to the ageing areas of Emirates Stadium and the surrounding concourse. These included new big screens, new exterior artwork and repairs to a leaking roof.
On Saturday, it was very apparent that the North Bank roof was still leaking over the lower tier. Given it wasn’t raining, that will be a concern.
We’ll endeavour to chase the club on what other improvements they have planned. We know updates to the sound system and mobile connectivity have been on the to-do list for some time. We’re also curious as to whether there’s been any update on the issue of safe standing.