Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Cheap as Chips

Following the suspension of season tickets sales due to the financial worries surrounding the club, season ticket prices have only just been announced, and I think it is time to commend the club for yet again providing the people of Bradford with affordable prices for football league matches. For the fifth year in a row season tickets have been provided for less than £200 - season tickets being priced at £195 for adults - once again making season tickets incredibly good value.

The pricing strategy, despite having seen a year on year decrease in crowds as the club has lingered in League Two, has ensured the club has received support it wouldn’t have got had it kept prices at the same level they were before relegation to the bottom tier. The first year of cheap tickets saw an incredible amount sold; only surpassed by figures in the Premier League seasons. The club have also done their best to ensure the scheme remains fresh by developing it each year. Had the club sold another 600 season tickets three years ago, 20,000 tickets would have been dished out as part of the deal.

The flexibility and continuation of the policy from City clearly shows that they value the city’s support as it would be just as easy to charge £250/300 and have a crowd half as low. And despite having franchised the shop and catering facilities, extra bodies = extra cash for the club as City take a certain % of profits made by the franchises on top of the franchise fees. A win-win situation considering the franchise fees are claimed to be more than the club would make from these operations themselves.

However, some people have begun to argue that the cost of providing cheap tickets is too prohibitive now and are calling for the prices to revert back to ‘normal’ higher prices. But this will just ensure that the club will lose floating supporters, whose cash is particularly important at the level City currently operate at. If the club continue with this policy, and the excellent marketing is finally matched by on pitch performances, the club could be looking at crowds of up to 15,000 in League One, almost double what the club averaged when they were last in that division. Should the club stick with the cheap ticket policy, it would eventually manifest itself in the club getting sustainably bigger crowds than it has experienced before at the respective level it is playing at.

Whatever people think of the current board, and they do come in for a lot of stick at times, this policy of cheap tickets has to be commended. Having been correctly recognised by the footballing authorities, it is something we as a club should be proud of, and thank the Chairmen and Board for. 

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