To get tickets for a match at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium you have to pay an annual subscription to go on a list of members. There are various grades of membership, the higher levels only being available to those who have served their apprenticeship for an (as far as I can tell) indeterminate though lengthy period at the lower levels, with the higher echelons getting the most privileged access to tickets. The wealthy and corporate sponsors get to bypass this scheme.
As a lowly red member supporter I, for the first time, have access to tickets for an Arsenal match against one of the big clubs. In contrast to previous seasons, tickets are still available (behind the goal) less than two weeks before the match.
A seat at the top end of the stand behind the goal for the Arsenal v Manchester City match on 13 January is £72.50. That made me pause for thought. £72.50?! It's no wonder they are still available. It seems that the Silver, Gold and Platinum/Gold members with priority call on these tickets and habitually/routinely engaged in throwing money at the club either cannot afford or are not prepared to shell out that kind of hard earned cash to watch Arsenal any more. That should (but may not) ring some warning bells in the boardroom.
Family enclosure tickets for the same match are (though they are sold out), I'm led to believe, £62 for adults and £23.50 for young gunners.
Tickets for the Liverpool match on 30 January are similarly priced.
Tickets for the Stoke match on 2 February are £42 behind the goal, £35.50 for adults in the family enclosure and £14.50 for young gunners (under 16) in the family enclosure.
Stoke are currently a place above Liverpool in the Premier League.
I had not appreciated that there was a 70%+ premium on ticket prices for the nominally 'bigger' matches.
Also this morning I had an email from Oxford Utd encouraging me to get tickets for their FA Cup 3rd round clash with Sheffield Utd this coming Saturday. £19 for adults, £11.50 for under 16s. Or premium tickets near the halfway line are £20.50 and £13 respectively.
Both Premier League and Oxford's FA cup tickets are sold through Ticketmaster, the company that had the LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) contract controlling Olympic ticket sales.
£145 plus a trek into London to see Arsenal v Man City or circa £30 to see Oxford v Sheffield Utd. Which would you choose?
Does anyone have a raw data breakdown of Ticketmaster's pricing structures and the relative revenue flows between the company and the Premier League football clubs?
Note: Ticketmaster merged with concert promoter Live Nation in 2010 to become Live Nation Entertainment. The merger went ahead despite some reportedly vocal opposition from such notables as Bruce Springsteen, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and 25,000 who emailed the US Department of Justice to object. The Competition Commission the in UK initially opposed the merger in October of 2009 and then reversed that decision upon further consideration in December 2009.