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Ticket prices

The price of football.

Arsenal are the most expensive football club in the world to go and watch, it’s a fact!  It’s been on the telly, in all the papers and probably every fan blog/website has had a discussion or comment made about this at some point so it must be true.

Many Arsenal fans will tell you that as they are the ones who pay, they know how much it is and therefore they must know it is more expensive at Arsenal (I’m assuming they have season tickets at several clubs to really know this first hand).  The BBC do their annual report where they only include information that backs up their agenda and like many people say, why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

OK, so let’s be honest.  Going to watch football at Arsenal is not cheap, however nothing is these days.  Gas & Electricity prices are continuously rising at an aggressive rate, petrol has risen dramatically over the years, train travel has sky rocketed, food prices have gone up, clothing….. you get the point.

Like us, football clubs have to pay all of these things so it’s obvious that their sources of money are going to have to increase and that includes the money from you and me!  Further to this, factor in the location aspect and you have some areas of the country costing more than others before you do anything.

I want to take a look at Matchday revenue as this is where the pounds come directly out of our pocket and where we feel and see it most and am going to use a method of comparison which seems to have been avoided by the newspaper journalists, presumably because they are too lazy to do it properly.

Since moving to the new stadium, Arsenal have generated larger proportions of their revenue from the fans on matchday.  The most obvious increment in this coming from the increase in capacity approx of 22,000 people but rising ticket prices have also contributed.  The question is, do Arsenal fans really pay more to Arsenal FC over the course of a season?

The table below shows the annual matchday revenue for Arsenal and average attendance per game.  It also shows the average price paid per fan for the season.

Arsenal
Season

Matchday
Revenue
(000,000’s)

Average
Attendance

Avg ££ /
Attendee
/ Season

2008/09

100.10

60039

£1,667.25

2009/10

93.90

59927

£1,566.91

2010/11

93.10

60025

£1,551.02

* Attendance figures from soccerstats.com, financial figures from Deloite.

The figures speak for themselves, the cost of going to watch Arsenal has been coming down as opposed to common held belief that we are spending more and more money and this is whilst the cost at other clubs has increased some seasons.  So how do Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool fair?  They will all be higher than us right??

Man Utd
Season

Matchday
Revenue
(000,000’s)

Average
Attendance

Avg ££ /
Attendee
/ Season

2008/09

108.80

75304

£1,444.81

2009/10

100.20

74864

£1,338.43

2010/11

108.60

75109

£1,445.90

Liverpool
Season

Matchday
Revenue
(000,000’s)

Average
Attendance

Avg ££ /
Attendee
/ Season

2008/09

42.50

43611

£974.52

2009/10

42.90

42863

£1,000.86

2010/11

40.90

42820

£955.16

Chelsea
Season

Matchday
Revenue
(000,000’s)

Average
Attendance

Avg ££ /
Attendee
/ Season

2008/09

74.50

41563

£1,792.46

2009/10

67.20

41419

£1,622.44

2010/11

67.50

41435

£1,629.06

 

Well yes, Man Utd and Liverpool fans do pay less to watch their team but Chelsea fans are paying more than we do yet isn’t it always us who get the criticism.  Liverpool is a substantial amount less owing to several factors (old stadium, geography, no longer top 4 etc…) but Man Utd are only marginally less and by the time you factor in regional price variations you would probably find out you are paying more speaking relatively.

I wanted to have a see how this compares with the cost of living so thought I’d compare the cost of going to watch your team against a cost of a house in the area (I have used average sale prices according to Zoopla).

Arsenal
Season

Avg ££ /
Attendee
/ Season

Average
house price
£££

Fan spend
as
percentage

2008/09

£1,667.25

546,017

0.31%

2009/10

£1,566.91

556,509

0.28%

2010/11

£1,551.02

579,437

0.27%

Man Utd
Season

Avg ££ /
Attendee
/ Season

Average
house price
£££

Fan spend
as
percentage

2008/09

£1,444.81

165,144

0.87%

2009/10

£1,338.43

162,933

0.82%

2010/11

£1,445.90

163,756

0.88%

Liverpool
Season

Avg ££ /
Attendee
/ Season

Average
house price
£££

Fan spend
as
percentage

2008/09

£974.52

73,049

1.33%

2009/10

£1,000.86

69,120

1.45%

2010/11

£955.16

68,635

1.39%

Chelsea
Season

Avg ££ /
Attendee
/ Season

Average
house price
£££

Fan spend
as
percentage

2008/09

£1,792.46

802,350

0.22%

2009/10

£1,622.44

821,064

0.20%

2010/11

£1,629.06

884,626

0.18%

So what this really shows is, we are not the most expensive team to watch whether you base it on cold hard pounds spent per person per game or if you choose to compare things on a regional basis.  One thing I think would also be safe to assume is that if we had stayed at Highbury, our situation would be like Chelsea and we would be paying more than we do now.

 

23 comments to Ticket prices

  • The Noise

    You can sugar coat these figures all you want son, but the cheapest seats on the ground have been snapped up by ST holders (rightly so), so anyone who can no longer afford shedding out on an entire season ticket, but fancies going to the odd game here and there will usually pay anything up to £126 for a single non-corporate match day ticket… BY FAR the most expensive in the world!
    If you are happy with that, then fair play to you Tarquin, but I’m guessing you’ll be in the very fucking small margin!

  • Owamyaskip

    ……. and what is your point?

  • nicky

    Whether we are not the dearest team to watch, the fact remains that ticket prices are frar too high

  • Some good detective work here, but you ignore certain facts.
    I travel down from Glenshee in Perthshire for every game, so your house values mean nothing to me and, I guess, thousands of other fans.
    I know the same can be said of the other clubs highlighted in your report.
    One more thing, as I am over 65, my season ticket costs me £380 and my grandson, who is under 17, costs £350.
    That is never mentioned and do the other clubs have this pricing in place?

  • El Gringo

    And perhaps the average sale price isn’t the best indicator? Where I live, for example, there are at least as many renters as owners…wouldn’t average salary be more accurate?

    All the same, I’m glad you’re trying to set the myth straight. Perhaps some of the Untold Statisticians (in their spare time!) could come up with a more accurate formula and create an Untold Tickets article at the same time of year that the BBC comes up with the “Arsenal is Expensive” myth…er…I mean, article.

    And Nicky, it’s all a matter of perspective. While living in the USA, I payed $45 to watch a not-so-great college football match (American football, that is). The NFL teams often charge $80 for tickets in what they call ‘the nosebleed section.’ So the 25 or 30 quid that I’ve heard gets an Arsenal ticket isn’t so bad. That said, I certainly couldn’t afford it more than once or twice a season.

  • nicky

    We may not be the dearest team to watch but IMO ticket prices in general are far too high and the cost and quality of food and drink at many grounds leaves much to be desired.
    Wih the advent of terrestrial and satellite TV, coupled with advertising, the professional game took off, players’ wages escalated and one inevitable source for funds became
    the price of tickets.
    There will be, however, a limit beyond which the average attender will not be prepared to pay to be entertained and clubs should be made fully aware of this.
    It may well become necessary to consider a cap on wages and ticket prices in professional football, should these two main costs continue to escalate alarmingly.

  • Limpar's Wand

    Good work. I think the reason for the slight reduction in total revenues over the last few seasons is simply the number of games played at home in cup competitions, rather than any reduction in prices.

    But I agree that journalists and some of our more critical fans like to use it a bit too often as a justification for whatever drivel they subsequently spew forth. They should try getting tickets for a popular west end show, or dining at a half decent restaurant in the centre! I’m betting it costs less to go and watch the Arsenal.

    Either way, I say fleece the mugs! It’s not like they sing or lift the team or anything. Frankly the last few seasons they’ve been a burden for the players. The contrasting home and away records are not a coincidence. Charge them for the privilege of being dissastisfied. A pound a groan!

  • john

    What a load of tosh your average fan is being pushed out of football

  • Duc

    Disingenuous tosh to say the least. Apologist craven crap. In the past, football attendance could be on a whim. Now, for many, its a very deliberate act with other considerations/expenditure having to be weighed carefully. The gentrification of football has been a disaster for the low income family. Today, it’s either for the wealthy or the die-hard fan who forgoes most everything else. I could afford to attend Highbury in the 80’s and 90’s but now I can’t. If I did, I’d be unable to afford anything else. Football, cinema and the theatre are becoming elitist. No other way to look at it. I live in France and football is still an affordable pleasure; around £13 to see my local team, Guingamp. Time for Sky to go broke so the game can find its heart again imho.

  • The Noise – saying “will usually pay anything up to…” and BY FAR without any evidence is daft.

    The fact is that when I was a silver member I was generally paying £45 for a ticket of my choice, and rarely if ever did I not get what I wanted. I moved from silver to season ticket 2 seasons ago, so my data isn’t that out of date.

    If you compare our prices with Tottenham, for example, on a like for like basis, their prices are higher. One thing you have to take into account is that Arsenal season tickets cover all the league, plus seven cup games, including Champions League and FA Cup but not League Cup. When you factor that in, Tottenham is more expensive for regular tickets around the ground. And if I can find a club 3 miles away that is more expensive, what chances are there that the “most expensive in the world” claim, which is endlessly repeated, is true.

    I am not going to quote the Arsenal, Tottenham comparison in prices in detail again because I have done it here too often – it doesn’t matter how often we do it, the old point is still made.

    But you might like to know that AISA is making a strong move to have the away fans moved upstairs to make available more downstairs seats for Arsenal fans. The club is listening and I believe a dialogue is continuing.

  • Steve

    If you paid on a game by game basis-19 home games in the PL at Arsenal £783(lower tier), 19 PL home games at Spurs £744(lower tier). I think it works out at 13 PL home games at £35.50 or lower this season. Average price for a ticket if you went to every game £41(North Bank lower tier)

    Chelsea-
    Lower shed £750
    add in 7 cup games
    3 CL group games £35 each=£105
    2 FA cup games £30 each=£60
    1 CL last 16 £52= £52
    1 CL quarter final £56 =£56

    Total £1023 ok you could probably take off £26 if they have another FA cup game instead of the CL QF match but it still works out higher than my North Bank lower ticket.

  • americangooner

    my personal opinion is that ticket prices wouldn’t have been discussed weren’t it for the recession and the ongoing european crisis. its the middle class which was hit very hard by the downfall. since middle class have propensity to spending than saving, they have less money now to spend. add to the fact that many arsenal fans are working class, its a perfect fodder to raise ticketing issues.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sorry, off topic, but some very good news, so good, it is on two threads!

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/five-young-internationals-sign-new-contracts

  • Tasos

    The price of a season ticket is far too high for most top premier league clubs in England.

    Arsenal are said to have the highest priced season tickets but that doesn’t counter in the seven cup tickets added-on.

    This season Arsenal have also categorized games, meaning a 28% discount on the price of lower category games. The cheapest match-day ticket is now available at £28, that’s cheaper than half the other EPL teams.

    CL football has virtually been guaranteed up to now, although should Arsenal fail to qualify for that competition they may have to review their prices for next season.

    Here’s the BBC survey on the price of football;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19842397

  • Stuart

    Clearly this article was not about ticket prices (although it’s a big part) and clearly stated agreement that the prices are high.

    The figures used are for overall matchday income (not just tickets income) and this is money these clubs get off you one way or another. In a sense, it could be said the cheaper matchday tickets at Chelsea for example, are there to get you through the door in order for you to be fleeced later. This money is money that has been spent overall by you, me and Joe Bloggs

  • Stuart

    cont…

    As the cost is broken down into an average cost per person per season, I think it is a fair representation as every club has an average cost per person per season. If you want to believe the BBC report, that is up to you but clubs only need to have 1 seat in the ground for just 1 game at those prices for it to qualify as the cheapest and some of the prices are only available on a loyalty scheme so should not be considered standard prices anyway.

  • Todd

    So if you correct for the # of games(26 instead of 19)for an arsenal season ticket, then it looks like this:
    Cheapest Season Ticket(Highest 5)
    Tottenham 730
    Liverpool 725
    Arsenal 720
    Chelsea 595
    Man Utd 532

    Most Expensive Season Ticket
    Tottenham 1845
    Arsenal 1429
    Chelsea 1250
    Fulham 959
    Man Utd 950

    Regardless, Arsenal are still toward the top. Personally, I don’t see the issue with high ticket prices. Arsenal sell out most games, so obviously enough fans have the money for tickets. If you don’t, quit moaning and make more money.

  • insideright

    A well run organisation charges as much as it can for its product whether it be football or baked beans. Can you imagine (given that the pressure from fans seems to be to spend more money) what position Arsenal would be in if they hadn’t continued with the policy of being towards the top end of the pricing structure?

  • Pat

    Mandy, I just saw that announcement about our five young internationals signing on the Arsenal web site.

    Great news. Well done Arsene Wenger, the club and the five players.

    Let’s hope they do stick together and build a great team as Arsene Wenger wants them to. They have some excellent older internationals now that they can learn from, and who will give them time to grow.

    Very exciting!

  • bob

    “If you don’t, quit moaning and make more money.”
    Hey Toddster,
    Didn’t know you were the Iron Lady’s speech writer, when she could. Growin’ them callouses around the ticker for the darwinian economy? What a good lad. Surely a credit to the Emirates and all we stand for.

  • FunGunner

    Noise is talking nonsense.

    I am a red member and since we have been at Emirates stadium, for glamour European ties I have paid around £65, for Emirates Cup/League Cup/FA Cup matches it is in the £10-£30 range and for PL games £45-55. On all occasions (except for the £10 matches) I could have paid less for my ticket.

    Prices are high, undoubtedly, but a) London is expensive (theatre, cinema, eating out) and b) nobody *has* to go.

  • FunGunner

    Some fans have been priced out, there’s no getting away from that – but that’s not because the club are evil, it’s because the tickets are that popular. They could charge more and they would still sell. I think they try to make it easier for people who would struggle to come regularly, with the reasonably priced League Cup and Emirates Cup tickets. It’s not a PL game but it’s still an Arsenal game and the atmosphere is often better.

  • Steve

    I see some fan organisation are demanding away tickets are priced at £20 just wondering how this will work at the carling cup final. Tickets are between £40 & £100 but as one team will be officially away will they be demanding their tickets are just £20?