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When it comes to a matchday experience... aim for the top.

I'VE been keenly looking at fan experience at other clubs since Wrexham Supporters Trust took over the running of the Dragons. Some things should be relatively straightforward to improve. At Brighton's new ground they keep a bar open after the game with live music where fans can stay, talk about the match and most importantly spend money.

Wrexham have such a venue in the Centenary Club which is full before the match, but empties out afterwards.

Brighton famously also bring in host beers for away supporters - even though someone told them it was Brains for Wrexham - and have train times on TV screens on the wall.

But even the likes of fan-friendly Brighton aren't perfect, with massive queues for food and beer, especially just before the match and at half time. A massive bottle neck just before the bar area led to shoves and harsh words.

Smaller clubs I've been too have been ultra friendly, with the stewards at Forest Green especially helpful.

When a friend went to Histon there were a couple of "greeters" dishing out welcomes, information and advice. Imagine that at the Racecourse, a few dedicated people who could help direct wives and children not going to match to the best shopping and attractions, tell everyone where the best pubs are, etc, etc.

It's important to be friendly, but also professional.

I'm not showing off or owt, but I visited Real Madrid over the weekend. Now that was an awesome experience (which does sound a little like showing off).

Tickets were easy to buy from an official website the Monday before the match and they were reasonably priced at 25euros. We were also able to get give five together.

Even though my mate lost his wallet during the weekend (don't ask) we were still able to pick them up despite not having the right credit card, although it did involve a lot of hand waving and pigeon Spanish/English.

Getting to the ground was easy and although we were up in the heavens there were heaters all over the top of the stand to make sure we weren't cold, which was a great touch because it was freezing.

Despite having 75,000 in the Bernabeu you could pop down to one of the many kiosks at any time and pick up a butty and a beer in a minute and return to have them at your seats.

There was even six goals, a hat-trick from Ronaldo and a sending off.

While we can't really ask Adrian Cieslewicz to spank it in from 30 yards like Ronny did, it shows how foreign football services the fans above everything else.

This of course is the top end of the scale football-wise, but that experience is equalled by other sports in other countries. The daddy being baseball in North America.

When I went to see the Toronto BlueJays the whole stadium was set up for the supporter, who admittedly does have to sit there for half a day.

Now the Racecourse is an old ground, built before such fads as "looking after fans" mattered. But it doesn't mean they should give up trying to emulate the best.

Things such as ease of buying good quality food from efficient kiosks shouldn't be out of the question.

And at the other end of the scale a friend of mine said he had Smash as part of a corporate meal at the Racecourse, and they had to wait over an hour for drinks.

That's not the right example to set to our "big spenders".

Yes, we could sit here and pick holes in a non-league club's matchday experience all afternoon, but that won't solve much.

The people now running Wrexham FC have made a great start and they are slowly putting things right which have be wrong for ever since I can remember.

But as always they need your views. Let's give them a little hand by helping us with...

... ? DO you have five minutes to fill in our Wrexham FC matchday experience survey? Results will be passed on to the club and published in the paper. There may even be a few pie charts at the end of it (and everyone loves a pie chart). Simply visit www.dailypost.co.uk/sport
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion, Columns
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 17, 2012
Words:710
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