Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boom in Game's Popularity Is Just the Ticket for Clubs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boom in Game's Popularity Is Just the Ticket for Clubs

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER SHARKEY

LESS than three weeks before the new campaign and season ticket sales at all of the capital's football clubs are up on this time last year.

The football boom continues as crowds continue to grow with more people going to games than at any time over the past 20 years.

'Full House' signs are a regular sight at Premiership grounds and lower down the leagues clubs are giving fans special deals in order to boost the atten-dances.

The most expensive season ticket in London is Highbury where Arsenal fans are charged up to [pound]1,209.

However, this includes seven cup match credits that effectively reduces the cost of a league match season ticket to [pound]859.

The Gunners also have the cheapest Premiership season ticket with a seat on the North Bank costing just [pound]236.

Chelsea, often berated for the cost of tickets, have actually frozen prices for the majority of their season-ticket holders.

Good results attract fans to games but there are a number of other factors that are playing a part in fo o t b a l l 's huge popularity.

The marketing effort of broadcasters and sponsors, the improvement in facilities, football's 'glamour' status and the softer media portrayal of the average fan - all of these factors contribute to the sport's momentum.

As an adjunct to this, the perception that season-ticket prices are expensive has diminished as fans are more eager than ever to experience the action first hand.

Suddenly, tickets are very good value.

With fans having more money to spend than before, clubs also realise that a 15 per cent increase in ticket prices does not necessarily lead to a 15 per cent fall in attendance.

Innovative thinking by clubs has helped attract supporters.

For example Brentford, where the most expensive seat is [pound]300 for a season, have a marketing approach to attract fans of all ages with a succession of deals. …

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