We were given headline pricing minutes before the Club announcement went live yesterday. So we knew the cheapest GA tickets and the most expensive were comparable to prices at White Hart Lane. But as we digested the detail, it soon became clear those headline prices masked a different reality.
On reviewing the price plan, there are only 9 areas priced below £950. We have asked the Club to confirm the number of seats within the lower price bands and they are yet to respond. There is significant upward price migration at price points between the cheapest and most expensive. Some fans are facing increases of 25, 40 or 50% in their usual seating areas which, even taking into account the improved facilities, will be beyond many, whether they are longstanding season ticket holders or whether they signed up for the first time for the year at Wembley. The vast majority of fans go to football for the football, not for the facilities.
Many fans are now having to reconsider their seating options, scattering groups who’ve long sat together.
There are 15 different price points, an over complex system that allows attractive headline claims to be made but which mask the price rises many will now face. Fans are genuinely worried about the availability of tickets at prices they can afford in the later priority windows.
The South ‘home’ stand has been promoted as the focus for atmosphere, yet most tickets are priced around the £1,000 mark. And sections of premium-lite tickets at £2,200 do not sit comfortably with the stated aims of this stand.
We are pleased the Club listened to our argument for concessions to be available all around the ground, although we would have preferred this offer to have been made available at all price points rather than to just those seats priced under £1125. This still provides a far wider choice than the historic policy of only offering concessions in the North Stand. The introduction of a Young Adult category is a very positive step.
We also argued for a stretch pricing policy, where the very substantial number of premium tickets would enable cheaper prices to be offered to those fans who could least afford to attend matches. In reality, those who held the cheapest tickets at either White Hart Lane or Wembley are facing very large increases in prices. Although not announced yet, single match general admission prices will inevitably have to follow suit.
The Club believes it will fill the stadium with this pricing policy. That may well be the case in our first season with a successful, entertaining team but the novelty may wear off after the first season, particularly if performance on the pitch falls short. With fans already contacting us saying they are priced out, we cannot view this as anything other than a missed opportunity.
13 March 2018