OPINION 18th Man Column: Improving Gameday Experience at the DW

Another good Easter weekend for Wigan, four points from four is never easy and the game at Wakefield was certainly a slog. That entailed with the announcement of the re-signing of George Williams and Morgan Escare ensures a very happy Easter for all Wigan fans. An enormous amount of credit has got to be paid to Ian Lenagan and Kris Radlinski to ensure that two of our form players so far this year have been signed up for the long term at Wigan. However, rather than focusing on the successful Easter this week, I want to take the time to give credit to the marketing staff at Wigan. I appreciate that this may not be to everyone’s taste but what Wigan did on Good Friday on and off the pitch, shows that Wigan are continuously improving in their offering to fans.

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The Oasis tribute band on the pitch before the game, weren’t particularly tuneful, but then again, neither is Liam Gallagher. The free Red Bull mocktails outside the South Stand, the 188 Bet Fan Zone, Clint Boom DJ-ing after the game – all things which are unique to the Wigan club and something which is nicely building a new experience at the DW Stadium. The Family Fun day against Huddersfield was a well-intended success and likewise this Sunday, another Sunday game against Catalan Dragons is being touted as a family game with the military being honoured at the game. I am sure it is much easier to market a game on Good Friday against St Helens than it is against Catalans however the added experience on Friday was an excellent initiative. I took two relative newcomers to Rugby League to the game on Friday and they left the game commenting on the overall spectacle of the event – rather than just the game. Adding more elements to the game day experience will help more and more people return to the stadium on a more regular basis – as it is starting to feel like more of an event rather than just a game of rugby. Again, I am sure that this is seen as gimmicky to some fans but I must commend the Wigan staff on their vision and initiative in doing this and attempting to get more people to the games.

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