Wigan fail to sell out their tickets… time to adopt German model?

BBC have revealed that Wigan Athletic have sold just two thirds of their ticket allocation for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final with Millwall. An indicator that modern day football is beyond the affordable for the average fan, perhaps, or maybe a result of the Lancashire club being predominantly a Rugby town. Still, with a population of just 80,000 in Wigan, you could argue that selling tickets to a quarter of the town is fairly impressive, particularly when you consider less than 20 years ago they were in the fourth tier of English football and averaged less than 2,000 a game. Either way, it was hardly surprising when the FA announced that they are planning to allocate the spare tickets to a ‘neutral zone’.

This has been an issue in the UK for a while now, with numerous campaigns and protests highlighting the need for lower prices. If we look back to Arsenal’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich in February, a ticket for the game would set you back up to £126. A bit of a shock for the fans of the Bavarian club considering the price for a season ticket at the Allianz-Arena starts at just £104.

A match day ticket for a Bayern Munich home game ranges from £13 to £60, whereas Gunners are expected to stump up £25.50 to £126.

With Champions League final tickets ranging from £60 (category 4) to £330 (category 1), it will be interesting to what sort of impact this will have on the attendance.

It is a stark contrast between clubs in England and the rest of Europe which is hard to put your finger on. Whether it is to do with the wealth of the leagues, the financial state of the country itself or just a supply-in-demand situation, it is causing unrest across the country.

Switching our focus to international football, and England’s friendly with the Republic of Ireland in particular, then you can argue that the cost of watching a meaningless national game is also ridiculously priced. To secure yourself a seat for the aforementioned England tie at Wembley Stadium in May, you are looking at coughing up a fee of up to £65.

While we’re on the price of international football tickets, if you were to be interested in tickets to the 2013 Confederations Cup then I hope you have been saving for a while. A single ticket to any single fixture will set you back hundreds of pounds, something which is utterly scandalous for 90 minutes of sport.

However, if people are paying the outrageous prices to enjoy what they love, then why should the governing bodies or the clubs’ bosses lower the prices of tickets?

3 Comments on "Wigan fail to sell out their tickets… time to adopt German model?"

  1. Garry Ratcliffe | April 12, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply

    This is very lazy journalism again.
    Wigan has not been a Rugby Town for a while now, please check your stats before insulting this football town. Since Latics entered the Premier League 8 years ago their attendances have overshadowed their Rugby League lodgers(Yes WAFC own The DW Stadium) by thousands so please check the DWs wikipedia attendance stats. They have one big attendance every season v Saints and the rest is between 11 and 15,000, rugby town?
    Latics also have to contend with thousands leaving the town to watch United, City, Liverpool and Everton every weekend and they still average more than The Warriors, rugby town? Come on get it right! Gazza

  2. Agree with most of the points other than Wigan being predominently a “rugby town”.

    Wigan Athletic get higher attendances than the rugby, the supporters pay more for match tickets so the turnover and finances involved are higher than the rugby, the team get more TV exposure in the UK and around the world, the players are valued much higher than rugby players AND, there are many many supporters of OTHER football clubs (Liverpool, Man Utd, City, Everton) that live in the town than there are rugby supporters.

  3. The poor ticket sales does not reflect the poor support of the club unfortunately Mr Whelan or someone high up in the food chain at the DW decided to place sanctions on their ticket allocation for the semi final. This meant you had to be either a season ticket holder or have had some history of buying tickets for Wigans home matches throughout this season before you could buy a ticket for the FA Cup semi final against Millwall. Couple this with the fact Wigan Athletic only allow tickets for what can be classed as the lower end of the Premier Leauge fixtures to go on general sale means it was impossible for non regular attendance fans or those on a low budget to obtain a non black market ticket for the semi final. This was a blatant attempt by the club to force people through it’s turnstiles and it has backfired and been an embarrassment to both the club and the town of Wigan. One can only hope this policy will be reversed for the final due to take place next month.

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