Edinburgh City have launched an innovative offer that will allow season ticket holders for both Hearts and Hibs to attend home matches for half-price this season.
The Ladbrokes League Two club, who embark on an historic first season in the SPFL against Forfar Athletic at Meadowbank this Saturday, are seeking to entice fans of their bigger Capital neighbours by only charging them a concession price of £6 when they produce their season ticket for Tynecastle or Easter Road at the turnstile.
With Hearts not kicking off their Premiership campaign until Sunday with a home match against Celtic, City are hoping that their 3pm kick-off the day before will offer an intriguing alternative for any Jambos at a loose end.
Hibs begin their third season in the Championship away at title rivals Falkirk at the same time as City’s league bow, although any Hibees who can’t attend the Falkirk Stadium can make the short walk up Lochend Road to see their near neighbours. Neil Lennon’s side took the Scottish Cup to Meadowbank for a pre-season friendly against City last month, which attracted a crowd of more than 2500.
Chairman Jim Lumsden hopes the idea will boost City’s gate by as much as several hundred.
“We’re keen to get Hibs and Hearts fans in to the ground, especially as this weekend there’s no clash with Hearts and Hibs are away,” he said. “We had to think outside the box and come up with something to get people in to the ground. It’s just trying to make league football affordable so that people will want to come along and have a good experience so they’ll come back again.
“We’re certainly hoping it puts a few hundred on the gate because I think there’s a lot of interest in the club, and Hibs and Hearts are getting god attendances now with Hibs winning the Scottish Cup and Hearts coming back with a great amount of season ticket holders. A few of them might want to see Craig Beattie again, and for Hibs fans we have Ryan Porteous on loan and a couple who used play there.
“There’s a lot of people there who like to watch football, so if we can offer them something on the weeks when they can’t watch their own team at home or they don’t travel away, there’s an alternative there for them.”
With pre-season over with, Lumsden is eagerly anticipating the moment on Saturday when his team takes to the pitch as a league club for the first time since the 1940s. “I’m just really looking forward to it as it’s been an interesting pre-season so far,” he said. “We’ve played against teams that we aren’t really going to judge ourselves against so Saturday will give us a real idea of where we are, although Forfar will be a formidable challenge.
“It feels like the summer’s flown in so we’re really looking forward to getting in and playing some league games now.”