Emirates Stadium hospitality beckons



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Amy Trynka at Coliseum Europe Image: Amy Trynka & MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Amy Trynka’s role at Arsenal F.C. is to roll out the red carpet for its Club Level Members and ensure the best in class hospitality.

Good hospitality means good business and Trynka walks the extra mile to ensure that the crème de la crème Members have the world at their feet while at the Emirates Stadium.

Amy Trynka is the Venue Projects and Strategy Manager at Arsenal F.C. Trynka is responsible for leading the strategic approach to the sales, service and operation of all ticketing and hospitality inventory at Emirates Stadium. Her team oversees many key projects and business critical processes including Digital Ticketing, the Season Ticket Renewal process and more recently oversaw the Return of Fans to Emirates Stadium project following the coronavirus pandemic.

She joined Arsenal F.C. in September 2017 and previously held a role in the Business Strategy team before joining the Venue Department which oversees Ticketing, Hospitality and Fan Services.
 

Arsenal F.C.

The Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, London, England, UK. Arsenal plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football.
 

Emirates Stadium

The Emirates Stadium is a football stadium in Holloway, London, England, UK. It is the home of Arsenal F.C. since its completion in 2006. It has a current seated capacity of 60,704, making it the fourth-largest football stadium in England.

In an exclusive chat with ‘Coliseum’, Amy Trynka, Venue Projects & Strategy Manager, Arsenal FC, UK, gives an elaborate description as regards the premium spaces of Emirates Stadium and a couple of major projects undertaken in the last 10 years to spruce up these spaces.
 

Overview of Arsenal’s Premium Business

Arsenal’s hospitality facilities include:

  • 8,000 seats on Club Level;
  • 2,000 seats on Executive Box Level;
  • All Club Level seats are sold to seasonal Club Level members except for 1,200 seats sold to Club Level Agents;
  • Agents pay a license fee in addition to Club Level seat cost;
  • Seventy percent of Club Level seat holders are private individuals vs. 30 percent corporate;
  • Fifty percent+ of Club Level members have been members since the stadium opened in 2006;
  • Since 2006, all Club Level facilities have been refurbished/modernized; and
  • Arsenal F.C. is constantly exploring opportunities to refine the hospitality proposition and ensure they remain best in class.

 
Informed Amy Trynka, “Our premium facilities are made up of 8,000 seats on Club Level. The majority of these are sold seasonally. We have spent a lot of time and energy investing in these areas over the past 10 years. We have also got a 600-seat club as well. We have got 2,000 seats on Box Level which is across 129 Boxes. Boxes are not so much in fashion anymore and we are trying to find solutions to that.”

Premium guests can watch the sporting action unravel from one of the best seats in the house and see talented premiership footballers showcase their skills on the pitch.
 

Premium Business

She added, “Our Premium Business is worth between 30 to 40 million pounds a year. We have about 1,200 seats that we sell to Club Level Agents. These Agents are then free to sell these tickets in the United Kingdom and Europe. They pay a license fee on top of that because of the seats so that they can fluctuate the spending on which competition we are in and that’s a really important revenue stream for us.”

Trynka informed that not all of the stadium seats are for Club Level holders but it is also corporate – “Actually, 70 percent of our seats holders are private individuals. I think that occurs because our Entry Level Club Level seats are 3,000 pounds but our average general Season Ticket is just over 1,000 pounds.”
 

Loyal Members

Trynka stated, “We are very proud of the fact that over half of our members are still with us despite the stadium opening 16 years ago and we have very much refurbished every single part of our Club Level areas since the stadium opened. We are constantly looking towards the next projects and the next trend in hospitality.”
 

Premium Enhancement Plan

 

Club Level: Major Refurbishments

 

Four Corner Bars

The four Corner Bars on Club Level are open to all Platinum Members. From traditional football fare such as hot dogs and burgers to more premium dining options, the Legends, 49ers, Champions and Emirates Lounge offer a range of delicious dishes.
 

Royal Oak

A firm favorite with fans is the Royal Oak – its Victorian theme pays homage to the pub where Arsenal Football Club was founded. With family-friendly dining and pre-match entertainment, it is one of the most iconic hospitality experiences in European football and the perfect place to relax before and after the pitch action.
 

WM Club – Refurbished Summer 2010

The WM is a Members-Only lounge and restaurant located in the East Stand on Club Level, which has been created to provide a discreet environment completely separate from the rest of the Club Level. It provides an unrivaled Club Level fine dining experience and has been designed to a specification not seen previously in a European football ground with features including leather booth seating, personal TV screens and a private lounge for exclusive use by WM Members.

Trynka put in, “Five-course a la carte dining with wine, beer, house spirits, and soft drinks are included throughout each matchday.”
 

The Foundry – Refurbished Summer 2010

The Foundry is a celebration of Arsenal’s origins, set amongst the contemporary grandeur of Emirates Stadium. The result is a perfect balance of classic flair and modern elegance that creates a sumptuous environment for intimate dining.

As she further put in, “The Foundry is a match by match hospitality offering and it is very popular and we have our clubhouse and about 150 covers game.”

Overlooking the Woolwich, The Foundry offers a buffet dining experience across two intimate spaces for 142 members on a seasonal basis.

The Foundry’s restaurants contrast modern furniture, lighting and finishes with the hand-crafted traditions of Arsenal’s original era, represented by rich timber paneling and deep-buttoned leather upholstered booths.

With four-course buffet with wine, beer and soft drinks included throughout the matchday, the Foundry ensures that it keeps its Members in high spirits.
 

Woolwich Restaurant – Refurbished Summer 2010

Trynka elaborated, “This is a match by match restaurant where our Club Level Members and the Season Ticket holders have around three courses and drinks for around 80 pounds.”

The mesmerizing Woolwich restaurant offers an unforgettable experience of quality, taste, value, and flexibility. The three-course dining is seasonal, fresh, uncomplicated and wholesome, providing a variety of tastes to suit all palates. This restaurant also provides its guests with an inclusive drinks package.

The Woolwich suite boasts contemporary decor and a buzzing atmosphere as Members enjoy great food before kickoff.
 

Royal Oak Bar – Refurbished Summer 2015

The Royal Oak hospitality space at Arsenal Football Club has seen a brand new refurbishment, inspired by the heritage of the club.

The hospitality space was launched at the start of the 2015 season, and accommodates about 2,000 matchday guests, marking a radical transformation of the former space.

Situated at the North Bank end of the stadium, the large hospitality space is laid out across one level, featuring two bars – one at either end.

Said Trynka, “The design team has taken cues from traditional pubs to produce a pub-like environment in the whole space.”
 

Club Level Expansion Project Overview

  • In 2016, Arsenal F.C. identified an opportunity to increase its Club Level capacity by 511 seats.

 

Challenging task

Added Trynka, “When the stadium was built, the objective was to extend the Club Level tier. Essentially, we ripped off the front row. So, it was a real structural challenge and one of the biggest questions that we had was how do we cut the stadium apart. We knew we could not miss the first game of the season and this is a big job and we could not close the whole of our Club Level 8,000 seats. We typically went horizontally across the pitch because the camera angles on TV often focus on the goal. So, we decided to curve the stadium diagonally and half of the seats that we had added. We gave the option to be able to start at the back row to stay where they were and over five percent of those members chose to stay in the back row and then we moved everybody out forward.”
 

Club Level Expansion – Tier Construction Build Process

She continued, “We had to put some screens right above the lower tier. When I mentioned earlier about moving everybody forward, we had a real challenge as some of the rows don’t actually have the same amount of seats in the row at front. So, while we were pushing everybody forward, not all of them had seats for the person to move into.”
 

Club Level Expansion Project – Premium Refurbishments

There were challenges at every step while taking up these revamp projects as Trynka narrated, “When we took up the projects, one of the questions that we had from the existing members – ‘What about me. You just made my matchday experience worse by adding on 800 seats’. So, we decided to enhance the premium spaces for existing Club Level members.”
 

Dial Square

Arsenal FC invested £4 million into refurbishing the Club Level at Emirates Stadium. The first space to get upgraded as part of this process was Dial Square, a premium-casual, amazing-grazing, bar-based experience featuring the UK’s first stadium open-flame pizza oven, plus chicken rotisserie.

Trynka informed that the name Dial Square comes from an industrial courtyard at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, London, UK. This courtyard was part of a munitions workshop for a royal military armaments factory established in the 18th century. Dial Square workers formed the football team and club now known as Arsenal F.C. A sundial featured above the courtyard helped workers keep good time.

With the refurbishment plan, not only did Arsenal want to celebrate the industrial heritage of the club, but also make it a key part of the proposition, modernizing the spirit of Dial Square by inviting people to gather together here once again around a single purpose.

She shared, “In 2018, we renovated Dial Square and put in a gallery space and a bar with lot of booze. We massively improved the food offering at the Club Level as well and it is very popular among the Club Level members.”
 

High on hospitality

The Emirates Stadium is indeed high on the hospitality quotient and not only provides lip smacking spread to its Club Level members but also magical and exalted experiences. Indeed, Arsenal F.C.’s home ground is a luxury destination!

Grabbing the attention of Premium Members is no mean task and Amy Trynka has the ability to anticipate guest needs and a desire to exceed guest expectations.

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