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'Issues to iron out' at Saracens' new stadium Allianz Park in Barnet after test event, says CEO
Saracens' chief executive has admitted the club has “issues to iron out” after its first match at Allianz Park.
Just over 3,000 fans were allocated tickets to the LV=Cup match against Cardiff Blues on Sunday but CEO Ed Griffiths said the event raised one or two issues that need to be addressed.
Despite the teething problems, Mr Griffiths said it felt good to finally get in to the former Copthall Stadium, which has undergone a £24million transformation.
He said: “When you have more than 3,000 people who all have specific needs and anticipations, there will be issues to iron out but generally it was very good and very positive.
“Among the players and coaches there was a huge enjoyment at finally playing at our new home.”
The Saracens Pioneers, a team of volunteer stewards, also had their first day on the job and fans gave their verdict in feedback sent to the club post-match.
Mr Griffiths said: “It seems the stewarding could be better coming out of the stations in terms of the systems they’re using but it was their first day and inevitably it will get better.”
Some fans complained about the view from their seats in the new tiers, prompting plans for minor structural adjustments from the club.
The club has just over two weeks to sort out the problems before its first Premiership match on February 16.
Mr Griffiths said: “Structurally we have a few things to change. Of the people sitting in their seats, some were happy and some were not so we’re looking to make minor changes to ensure we have a stadium that is comfortable, safe and structurally sound.
“Everything went reasonably well but that is not good enough – we want it to be perfect.”