Dear Purple Army,

We have a return home date!

While our players and staff are 100 per cent focussed on the task at hand up here on the Gold Coast, it was nice for Peter Bell and I to be able to stand in front of the group yesterday and give them some clarity.

Round 6, Saturday 11 July we will play Melbourne at Metricon Stadium for our final game in the Queensland hub. Following that match, we will board a Virgin Australia flight home to our loved ones, who we miss dearly (along with you guys of course!).

Pleasingly, the WA government has approved for players and staff to self-isolate at home for 14 days upon our return, which is a significant win for us not having to quarantine in a hotel.

We have an exemption to train and play during this 14-day period, subject to very strict guidelines understandably. But it gives us every opportunity to continue our match preparations the most effective way possible.

For you, our loyal members and supporters, the most exciting element of the extended fixture release is what will take place eight days after our return to Perth. A home RAC Derby against the West Coast Eagles on Sunday 19 July, 4.35pm, at Optus Stadium.

The support we have received from our members over the past few months has been incredible and I am thrilled that we will get to repay that support in the form of LIVE Freo footy.

While there is still a lot of ticketing detail to be confirmed, it’s important that I address some of the ‘Forever Project’ categories in terms of match accessibility:

Members who have pledged
Those who have selected the pledge option for their 2020 membership via the Forever Project will be guaranteed a ticket to the match (excluding non-Derby 3 game packages and Flexi memberships).

We are confident we will be in a position to communicate the finer details of your RAC Derby ticketing entitlements and access by next Friday 3 July.

Members yet to make a selection
For those yet to make a selection, I strongly encourage you turn your 2020 membership into a Platinum Pledge to support the club and guarantee access to the RAC Derby (excluding non-Derby 3 game packages and Flexi memberships) and other blockbuster home fixtures soon to be announced for 2020.

Members who downgraded to Forever Hero and Purple Army memberships
There is the option for you to change your selection to a Platinum Pledge to guarantee match access in 2020. Our membership services team will email you separately with a link on how to do this – alternatively please feel free to contact our team on 9433 7111 to discuss.

While the football staff and players are focussed on this Saturday night’s match against the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium, our administration staff are meticulously preparing for the return to crowds at Optus Stadium, and potentially a sell-out home RAC Derby.

We will work diligently to implement effective ticketing and access procedures to these matches for our members and supporters.

COVID-19 will see a different game-day experience to what we are used to, but we will do everything we can to make sure that once inside the stadium, it is still the Freo game day you’ve come to know and love.

The music, lights and action will all be there, but a number of key things will look different:

Digital Ticketing 
All 2020 membership cards and barcodes issued at the start of the year are no longer active. Members will be reissued with a new digital ticket to access games in 2020. This will require strong communication and education from the club and venue to patrons on how to access and use digital tickets on game day.

Access to your reserved seat
The club will endeavour to seat everyone in their reserved seat, however members with reduced game packages cannot be guaranteed their normal reserved seat.

Full season members will be allocated their reserved seats.

Food and Beverage options
The offerings from the stadium may be different to what you have experienced in the past and we will get more information to you on this from Venues Live when it becomes available.

Player and fan interaction post game
Unfortunately, AFL and government protocols mean that for season 2020 our players will not be able to physically interact with fans post game for giveaways, signatures or high fives. I can tell you though, the boys are desperate to give you a wave and acknowledge our incredible members as best they can.

We know these measures aren’t ideal, but they are necessary and we trust our members will support such protocols being introduced.

Please keep in mind that all of this information for our home RAC Derby is subject to the WA government’s Phase 5 easing of restrictions coming into effect on the anticipated date of Saturday 18 July. Should things change in this space, we will communicate with you accordingly.

Please keep an eye on your inbox for future updates and thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Go Freo!

Simon Garlick