Thursday, 31 January 2013

Arsenal to freeze ticket prices for 2013-14 season after fan backlash - The Guardian

Arsenal have announced that the club will not make any ticket price increases next season.

The north London club's ticket prices became a subject of controversy this month when Manchester City returned 912 unsold tickets for their game at the Emirates Stadium, with City fans unhappy at the £62 asking price.

"The price freeze applies to all match ticket prices including season tickets in both general admission and club level," the club said. "Club level season ticket renewals will begin on 12 February. The move follows a full review by the Arsenal board which included an assessment of the current economic environment and feedback from fans' groups."

City fans' complaints sparked a campaign to curb rising ticket prices but Arsène Wenger, the manager, defended Arsenal's pricing policy, arguing that the club needed the money to continue competing with their rivals at the top of the Premier League.

The club have some of the highest season ticket prices in the league but have not delivered the success to match in recent seasons, having failed to win a trophy since moving to the Emirates in 2006.

Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) welcomed the move and urged the board to further ease the burden on fans by diverting some of the increased revenues from next season back into reducing tickets costs further.

"AST welcomes Arsenal's decision to freeze prices and urges the club to continue to put downward pressure on ticket prices when other sources of revenue from TV deals and commercial deals are increasing. We are engaged in discussions with the club about the development of wider initiatives that offer cheaper tickets for young fans and make FA Cup games more affordable."

The AST also called for a reduction in the cost of tickets for travelling fans, particularly given the criticism their club received when City returned their tickets.

"One urgent issue that must be urgently addressed is the price away fans are charged," the Trust said. "Arsenal fans suffer from being charged very high prices wherever they go and the AST is pleased that fans from across the country are coming together to highlight this issue."

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