If you follow sport or ticket related stories online, you cannot help being exposed over the last week to the stories relating to the annual ‘cost of football‘ survey.

Sample Story that has centred on Arsenal’s prices

I do enjoy when this survey is published, because it does give a real insight into the range of prices for what is the same product, just served up regionally.  After all, Southampton welcome the same 18 teams that Sunderland do during a season, both play in red and white stripes in fairly modern stadia, so comparison is easy, if not scientific.

Whereas it is nice to know who has the cheapest meat pie or most affordable season ticket, the big headlines went to Arsenal with their ‘rip off prices’.

Arsenal have had a tough time of it. Until their move to their new stadium ( still within one of the most expensive areas of the UK in terms of property prices) they complained their then 40,000 seat stadium could not provide enough match-day revenues for them to compete with other teams in 60 – 75,000 seat stadia.

Now they have their new stadium and enjoyed filling it, having more capacity, as well as the ‘new stadium effect’. However, it seems greed has got the better of them.


Arsenal Seasons

Rise of most expensive Arsenal FC season ticket price. (CITYAM.COM)

The continued nudging of prices upwards, upwards again, and upwards further, can (and certainly has in the case of Arsenal) given them a toxic story of disengagement that has lasted for over a week of news cycles.

The PR machine of Arsenal and the Premier League, along with other interested parties, has been in overdrive: talking of bringing the best talent to the Premier League, of the investment in tomorrow’s stars, along with other reasons to justify the  price rises that have been imposed.  Somehow they have forgotten that price needs to reflect value, as perceived by the fans.

For sure, if there was a 12 year waiting list for tickets, if the club had delivered back to back championships, signed the best players in the World, and conquered on the European stage, then perhaps the rises could be understood, if not fully accepted.

The Arsenal ticket price stories are a warning to those looking to raise prices, to ‘sweat the assets’ of their seats, or drive their business forward exclusively on a revenue maximisation basis. There is only so much you can do, without delivering quality and, most importantly, value.  After all, you’re not the only club who does what you do. You may think you are, but if you look at us as being in the entertainment industry, there are many many more options for our customers to spend their money on.