Sports clubs in Finland are teaming up with their local libraries to offer season tickets on loan in a bid to fill stands and provide opportunities to support local outfits.
Basketball team Helsinki Seagulls is reportedly the first team in Finland to launch a campaign that will allow library-goers to borrow a season ticket to the club’s games from the Töölö library.
Seagulls’ sports director Toni Leppänen told daily Helsingin Sanomat that the team wants to offer members of the public an opportunity to see a basket ball game at least once.
The Helsinki club’s gimmick has not gone unnoticed by other sporting bodies. Floorball team TPS Salibandy from Turku and ice hockey outfit Mikkelin Jukurit from southeastern Finland have since rolled out similar programmes.
Floorball fans can borrow season tickets for TPS games from the main library in Turku while Mikkeli ice hockey enthusiasts can get a chance to see their home team in action by checking out a season ticket at the main library in Mikkeli — however, they’ll have to borrow it by 13 October.
"We borrowed the idea directly from Helsinki Seagulls. It was such a good idea that we didn’t have to think too much about it and the local library got on board without hesitating. We are apparently the first Finnish Elite League (Liiga) team to provide this opportunity," said Jukurit event and marketing head Kristiina Tiippana.
Different loan rules for different clubs
Sports clubs and libraries have somewhat different rules about borrowing the season tickets. Mikkeli’s Jukurit are offering four season tickets. One library card can be used to borrow one ticket at a time. The borrower can keep the ticket for a maximum of one week at a time and cannot renew a reservation.
In the case of Helsinki’s Seagulls, four season tickets are also on offer, but one library card can be used to borrow two season tickets. In the case of the Mikkeli programme, if a customer fails to return the season ticket to the library in time, the ticket will no longer be valid.
Nowadays libraries offer a host of different services apart from book, magazine, CD and movie loans. Patrons can also borrow drills, Nordic walking sticks or even sewing machines.