To be clear, THST was not consulted over match-day pricing; we were simply informed shortly before the announcement went live.
We have already expressed our reservations about the pricing of Season Tickets. We also argued that it was unreasonable to set
Season Ticket pricing before match-day pricing was confirmed, and today’s announcement reinforces this belief. The Club created a problem for itself by setting Season Ticket pricing first. If the Club had priced match-day tickets at a level that would have given a better chance of a full stadium, this would have effectively penalised Season Ticket holders, because they would be paying more for their tickets than those buying match by match.
Comparing Season Ticket pricing to the match day equivalent, GA Season Ticket holders will pay less than a fan purchasing 19 individual matches in the same seat next season. This indicates that the Club has adopted the position of a Season Ticket equalling the sum of 19 matches, less a discount, which was not always the case at White Hart Lane. We'll be asking again for confirmation of that proposition. We’re pleased the Club appears to recognise the need to reward those fans who pay for their season up front.
Looking at the headline figures, the most expensive ‘regular’ seat has dropped from £81 in the West Upper at White Hart Lane to £75 in the North and South Lower at Wembley. The best seat in the house for a Category A game in Club Wembley will set you back £95, however.
Exact price comparison is hampered by both Upper and Lower tiers at White Hart Lane being moved into Level 1 at Wembley, but closer examination of the match-day categorisation outside the Club Wembley seats reveals increases across the board for Level 1 seats compared to pricing last season.
The Club is keen to stress that its intention was always to fill Level 1 with Season Tickets. It says more lower priced tickets will be available for members to buy than at White Hart Lane. In a 90,000 capacity stadium, this is undoubtedly the case. However, the Level 1 price points leave those Season Ticket holders looking to use the exchange platform in a precarious position.
After the Club’s refusal to provide an amnesty, we know many fans bought Season Tickets knowing they would have to sell a good proportion of seats back on the ticket exchange. The Club’s pricing policy, announced after the Season Ticket sales windows closed, makes the chances of selling tickets on Level 1 much more difficult given the lower pricing in Level 5. On the new ticket exchange, prices for a Category A game, including the £7.50 transaction charge, will be up to £82.50.
And those fans wishing to buy tickets to sit with the old Park Lane and Shelf regulars in Level 1 will pay more than they did last season.
Throughout our discussions around the move to Wembley, the Club told us it was pursuing a “bums on seats policy”. We recognise the need to demonstrate strong funding streams, but question whether the stadium can be filled regularly at these prices.
THFC had the opportunity to preserve the goodwill from three seasons of price freezes, and to provide the kind of accessible pricing that brought tens of thousands to Wembley last season for our Champions League games. We never expected 19 Premier League games to be priced at £20 a time, but neither do we agree with the prices announced. An opportunity has been squandered.
The Club’s decision to price Season Tickets too high and to announce match-day pricing after all other categories of ticket pricing left it very little room to manoeuvre.
We are, however, pleased with the expansion of concessionary areas from one stand at White Hart Lane to throughout Wembley for juniors and seniors. That is welcomed.
We have at all times been ready to propose and discuss solutions constructively. Unfortunately, at a pivotal time for fans, the Club has opted simply to inform rather than properly discuss.
We will continue to press for meaningful input into pricing for our new stadium, and especially for the full implications of pricing policy to be thought through in advance.
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19 July 2017