Thursday, February 29, 2024

Arsenal blame “technology infrastructure issues” for opening day kick-off delay

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. 

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@jbrusty

Given the leaky roof, the technology not working, and the ridiculous amount of demand for tickets, I think it’s only right we start work on a new 150,000 seater stadium

Heavenly Chapecoense

We’re not even in the last six games of the season.

allezkev

I wonder if the roof at the SoFi stadium leaks?

Chris

On the “new digital ticketing system”, as far as I can tell all that has happened is you can no longer use a membership card, you have to use your phone. I got there early on Saturday and so got in fine and the screen you scan to get in is the same as last season. Is that right? I think “new system” is a wrong description of it given you always could use your phone, you just could use your card as well. So everything is the same and just membership cards have been deactivated. It may even be… Read more »

Kris

I’d agree with you – I used my phone all of last year and the technology was fine and is identical to this year, but most people did use their cards, so just in practicality terms it was quite a big change. I got in about 11.30 with no issues, but my friend about 20 mins later got stuck near the front of one the queues seemed to think that a high proportion of people in front of him hadn’t realised about the change, so the queues were building up rapidly but then stopped moving completely. So either the tech… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

You could use screen-shots of digital memberships last season, but now you can’t. Maybe that’s what they mean by “new system”, cos I assume there must be something different about it that would mean you have to use your digital membership.

Tara

They have moved from a QR code reader when the ticket was provisoned on a mobile device to NFC (the same tech that you use to pay for things). I couldn’t gain entry on Staurday and tried my physical card, just to see if it worked. I recevied the same error message. My son received the error message twice but on the third attempt he gained access. The steward who dealt with me and others at the turnstile was struggling with access to the system, I think their hand held machine lost internet access. I have noticed on my android… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Hold on, I thought you were supposed to use the one in your Apple Pay/Google Wallet?

P.D.

You are

Crash Fistfight

Does that mean you need to have your data turned on for the pass in your wallet to work correctly? I presume the wi-fi at the stadium is still dreadful?

pahtotheworld

If you’ve prepared correctly you don’t need data on your phone at the moment you’re at the turnstile.

I have a ticket for Fulham and I’ve put it in ‘wallet’ on my iphone

Tara

It doesn’t require data as the the digital pass is provisioned in your wallet. Full instructions should have been sent out to all season ticket holders and I assume to all those who were successfull at red and silver member level.

I did see people with paper tickets so the information had not been received/understood by all.

P.D.

I know the easy thing is to blame the club here (& I’m sure some is merited)…..but honestly, how on earth did people turn up to the first game of the season not knowing this was happening ? I’m Silver & I got countless reminders from the club…never mind how much talk there was on here and everywhere else Arsenal-related.
I’m not great with technology (at all) & had been using my physical card all the way until the end of last season. I downloaded the digital pass, got there early & had zero problems.

P.D.

Tara, I think overseas supporters clubs tickets are still sent as pdf

Nick

i was issued a paper ticket and I got in fine once I got to the front of the queue (after 45 mins !)

Chris

Ah thanks Andrew, so it is different. As I say it looked exactly the same to me which is why I thought I’d ask. I don’t know enough about IT to know what NFC or QR codes are or the difference between them. Hope it works better next weekend.

Wizardfeet19

Genuine question – I dont get to games often and heaven knows if I’ll ever get a ticket again given demand… but having given up my smartphone as part of my quest to improve my mental health, what option is there for access? Is ownership of a smartphone a requirment for access now?

morecoffeeman

If you do get a ticket you would need to collect a paper one on the day as long as you have informed them that you do not have a smartphone with NFC.
If you go to the website and search for “digital ticketing overview”, on that page scroll down to the “we are here to help” section and there is a link to fill out a form.
https://www.arsenal.com/digitalticketingoverview

Dominic

I used my digital wallet last season and also on Saturday. I have NFC turned off and scanned the weird rectangular barcode displayed on the arsenal ticket in my android wallet (not a QR code). I suspect the club won’t advertise or draw attention to this as I’m pretty certain I could have used a screenshot…

Ebo

“technology infrastructure issues” sounds a bit like saying you investigated why the smartphone doesn’t work came to the conclusion that it’s because it’s faulty

Fireman Sam

Yes the technology problem was due to a technology issue. Awesome.

Badaab

Stress testing before launch? Nah, too expensive, lmao.

Parteylikeits2001

I hope they give the Ashburton Army more ticket allowance….last season it was a totally different stadium. V Forest it was like going backwards a couple of years 😑

morecoffeeman

Purchased a new phone that has NFC because of this, although I haven’t won a single ballot yet (silver membership) so won’t have the chance to use it for a while (if at all).
Will the club refund membership fees if the user doesn’t win a ballot?

Jon

Our entire row of seats in the West Upper also collapsed towards the end of the game – we found some bolts on the floor at either end of the row afterwards. Feels like there’s a lot of wear and tear showing in the stadium at the moment…

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