York Sport and Club Salvation have been forced to cancel their Wednesday Sport Night following slow sales and poor turnouts.
Billed as “the official York Sport night” on the club’s Facebook page, Jelly Baby Wednesdays at Club Salvation have proven to be no match for Wednesdays at Ziggy’s, the traditional venue for Sport Night in York.
The event, new to this academic year, is the result of a partnership between York Sport and promotions company Cool It Events, who organised the nights. With the deal set to boost York Sport’s finances to £6,000, Alex Lacy, President of York Sport, admitted that the prospect of the deal was “pretty tasty”, and insisted that “the only negative financial impact was that some people paid £3 for an unsatisfactory night.”
Many have suggested that free entry at Ziggy’s is the main reason for students shunning Salvation, with entry prices on Wednesdays setting students back up to £4. But with drinks deals much cheaper than Ziggy’s and, according to one student, a “classier atmosphere”, there seems to be no real reason for Wednesdays at Salvation to have been such a disaster.
John Morris of Cool It Events admitted that he “always knew it would be a challenge to compete with Ziggy’s”, but insisted that “Cool It Events did everything we said we’d do. Ziggy’s is such an institution and there was no way we could ever have recreated that special uniqueness in Salvation. We worked closely with the University and put everything into the event but the major sports teams – rugby, hockey and netball – didn’t support the night right from the first week, and that influenced others.”
Morris sought to absolve Cool It Events from any blame, claiming that “Cool It Events put an awful lot of effort into the night.”
The move from Ziggy’s to Salvation on Wednesday nights was met with hostility amongst many sports teams, who were loathe to leave their traditional venue.
“Salvation screwed up from the first week,” said one member of the University hockey team. He added: “The queue jump for the sport’s teams was badly organised and the fact that we had to pay for the privilege was a joke.”
First-year cheerleader Sarah Hill commented: “We went in the first week and it was quite good but the second and third years on the team said it was nothing compared to Ziggy’s. I think that people see Ziggy’s as the traditional place to go on Wednesdays and they prefer tradition.”
Wall posts on the Facebook group, “Boycott Salvation Wednesdays, Keep the Ziggy’s Tradition”, typify the attitude of many students at York, with one student claiming that “to lose Ziggy’s sporting Wednesdays would be the end of civilisation as we know it.”
A source at Club Salvation, which is now closed on Wednesday nights, simply said that the student nights “didn’t work out”, but refused to comment on any perceived rivalry with Ziggy’s.
Despite some contention over Wednesday’s entrance fee, Club Salvation is still maintaining their £3-4 entrance fee on a Sunday. They have now re-directed their student night to a Thursday, which they have dubbed an ‘awesome Kandyland Student Night’. They also still offer Student Cards, which are said to offer students “savings on entry fee and drinks,” according to their website.
With most students holding allegiance to The Gallery on Thursday and Sunday nights, it’s questionable how far Club Salvation’s offers will be a success.
Club Salvation’s struggle to attract students follows the failure of Nexus, Club Salvation’s previous incarnation. According to Nexus’ former MySpace page, the club went through a £1 million pound re-development that transformed it into the new Club Salvation. It was envisioned that the revamp would “finally bring that ‘big club’ feel to the city that has been lacking for years, with two rooms of great music played through the best sound system in the city, special guest DJs and appearances, a brand new stylish layout and interior, and entry and drinks prices that won’t break the bank.” Even after an extensive image revamp and refreshed student offers, the future of Club Salvation still remains precarious.
York Sport are planning to relaunch their Wednesday night in January to coincide with the opening of the refurbished Student Union venue in Langwith.