TREBLE-WINNERS LEEDS Rhinos are on course for their best season ticket sales in more than a decade.
Chief executive Gary Hetherington said more than 9,000 ticketed memberships – effectively season passes – have already been sold and Rhinos are heading towards their target of 10,000.
The club have been unable to confirm the number of memberships sold up to now because of the transition to a new ticketing system.
But Hetherington said completion of the work has revealed “positive news”.
Hetherington said: “It was quite a big job in terms of transferring all our records and everything else over.
“That is now complete and it shows we are over 9,000 ticketed memberships and we are working towards our target of 10,000 members for the new season.
“That has been our aim for the last several years, to grow our membership to over 10,000 people with tickets.
“We have already sold more ticketed memberships for the coming season than we had for the whole of last year, so there are positive signs.”
Rhinos’ average crowd last year was 15,724, which was 1,252 up on 2014.
Twelve of the 16 best-attended Super League games played on a club ground last year were at Headingley.
Rhinos’ highest Super League attendance of 2015 was 18,514 for the visit of St Helens in July.
The only four-figure crowd was 8,133 at a televised Challenge Cup tie against Huddersfield Giants.
“Last year we just topped 9,000,” Hetherington said of season ticket sales.
“We have passed that with more than a week to go until the start of the season.
“That is on the back of an outstanding finish to last season and a genuine optimism and excitement for the new year.
“We have had more than 10,000 members before, but you have to go back to the 2005 season. It will be the first time in more than 10 years.”
Of the decision to use the term ‘ticketed memberships’ rather than season passes, the Leeds chief said: “We have made a conscious effort to create a membership culture, so people are members of the Rhinos.
“You can buy a membership for £10 and get information and things like that, but you don’t get a ticket. Ticketed members get all the benefits of membership, plus a season ticket.”
Prices have been held since last season and, with no earlybird deadline, Hetherington said: “Some people have probably left it late to upgrade.
“Members can still buy their ticket for the World Club Challenge and get a £5 reduction by becoming a member.”
Hetherington said Rhinos have now begun posting memberships and they are all expected to arrive through letterboxes this week.
The World Club Challenge showdown with Australian Grand Final winners North Queensland Cowboys, at Headingley on Sunday, February 21, is nearing a sell-out in the seated areas.