2013/2014 Matchday Ticket Prices
The Ipswich Town Independent Supporters Trust is calling on the football club to explain the thinking behind its new ticket pricing and ticket sales structure, amidst fears that the club may be missing an opportunity to capitalise on the pre-season optimism generated by Mick McCarthy’s new signings, and may instead be excluding some supporters from Portman Road rather than encouraging them to attend.
Town’s pricing structure for the 2013/14 season sees significant increases on last season’s matchday prices, along with a continuation of the “grading” scheme for different categories of fixture. Additionally, the facility to buy tickets over the telephone has been withdrawn, a move which has seen some Club staff being made redundant.
Alasdair Ross, chair of the Independent Supporters Trust Board, said: “Supporters understand that the club needs to make as much money as it can, but it’s saddening to read that the club is saving money by making staff redundant, whilst increasing ticket costs for matchday supporters and reducing the level of customer service by removing telephone sales.
“The high cost of matchday tickets at Portman Road means that many supporters, who perhaps can’t afford to commit to a season ticket but still want to support their team as often as they can, are put off from attending. The ‘grading’ structure complicates things further – we believe that this is unnecessary in a division with few ‘big’ teams in it and no local derby fixtures for Ipswich.
“Additionally, making tickets available only to personal callers or online sales will make it yet more difficult for supporters who don’t have easy access to a computer – a number which is relatively high in rural Suffolk – to get tickets for games. The website itself has some limitations in terms of flexibility and choice of tickets, despite the fact that it adds a ‘web sales fee’ onto the cost of the tickets.
“Going to football is a habit and Ipswich Town should be doing everything it can to encourage local people to get into that habit at Portman Road. Sadly, we feel that these recent developments will only serve to exclude and alienate potential supporters. The club needs to consider its pricing model not only in terms of the current balance sheet, but also with a view to the long-term – if people are put off from attending matches now, how much future revenue might the club be losing?”
The Ipswich Town Independent Supporters Trust requests answers from the Club to these specific questions:
1. What research was done to establish whether the increased ticket prices would deter supporters from attending games?
2. What research was done to establish how many supporters would be prevented from buying tickets by removing the telephone booking facility?
3. What’s the justification for “grading” fixtures in a division which lacks any real stand-out fixtures or local derbies?
At a time when many fans are feeling optimistic about the new season under Mick McCarthy, it’s a shame that the club have missed the opportunity to capitalise on that enthusiasm by being more innovative with ticket pricing.
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