Going to football games is not a cheap hobby. Let me give you an example. A ticket for an away Brentford fan at Peterborough on New Years day costs £25 if bought in advance and £28 on the day. This is for a standard league 1 game. It is good to see a few initiatives from football clubs to overcome this and potentially help themselves too. Lets not forget that ticket revenue is only one source of income, sales of items from club shops, burgers and programmes also contribute. At a recent home game Brentford in league 1 took around £11,500 in catering income alone, and let me tell you their catering is no Fat Duck. Lets examine a few of the good guys:
- In 2013 Brentford had a ” pay what you want” game. The deal was simply you choose what you pay and anything over 5£ for the ticket was donated to a sports charity. The only thing asked was that the ticket was bought in advance. They also had a similar venture in 2012 however sadly on that day the game was postponed due to adverse weather.
- In 2014 on February 3rd, the game between Hastings v Walton and Hersham in Ryman South , is a ” choose your own admission fee” game. The rationale here is that the game was previously abandoned after 61 minutes and this now has to be replayed. The only costs that Hastings are aiming to recover are the travelling costs for the away club ( fair enough) and the match officials. All other monies will be donated to St Michaels Hospice. A great and sensible initiative . Any locals who do not normally watch Ryman league football should come on down and give it a try, potentially at zero/little cost.
- As a season ticket holder at Brentford we have a great offer for all season ticket holders to be able to purchase up to 4 tickets each for £5 for the home game versus Port Vale on Jan 11th. They must be bought in advance and not available on the day. Yet another piece of good marketing and good common sense from Mark Devlin and the team at Brentford.January is a fiscally challenging month for most and initiatives like these do really help.
- In 2014 on Jan 4th Basingstoke v Tonbridge Angels in Conference South (Skrill South) is essentially pay what you want minimum £1. On the excellent club website, Sarah Parsons explains“‘This is a gesture to the whole town and outlying districts, we are giving something back to the community by allowing people to come to the match for a price which they decide. We know that January can be tough on family budgets so come to the football match and spend the day with us, and in the clubhouse afterwards. We really want to open our doors for people to come and see us, old fans and new fans, everybody is welcome. Maybe family, friends or workmates of existing fans have always been shy to come along in the past. We have the exciting prospect of a new ground in the pipeline but why not come along and start supporting your local football team now? We know many will still support the likes of Arsenal & Chelsea in the big Premiership matches, that’s fine, but maybe if people came along to see football at this level they may be pleasantly surprised. Ultimately the Town’s football team will be what we as citizens of the Town make it. We have to set a £1 minimum entrence fee due to rules but hopefully people will give us more as every penny helps a small club like ours to grow to become something that the whole Borough can be proud of in future. Tonbridge Angels are a good side in our league and we anticipate a good competitve league match. Our team currently sit in or very close to the league play off positions so it would be great if as many people as possible came through the gates to roar their Town on and hopefully towards victory on the day and ultimately promotion to the Conference National league at the end of this season “This is an initiative that should be supported and encouraged. www.basingstoketown.net/the-club/town-announce-happy-new-year-day/. Lets us hope that more clubs will go down this route. Nonleague football is a great game and often skill and excitement levels are equal to those in some of the lower leagues. The catering is undeniably better than at league clubs!