Fans sulk over Arsenal ticket price rise

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Arsenal rise ticket prices and confirms stadium renovation Image: Arsenal, Ank kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Premier League club Arsenal F.C. (UK) have announced a four percent stadium wide ticket price rise. However, the ticket price rise has not gone down well with the fans with the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust terming it as “unjustified”.

The ‘Goal’ stated that ‘The Gunners’ made the announcement ahead of the imminent release of the latest club accounts, which are forecast to include massive losses.

The Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, London, England (UK). Arsenal plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football.

The Emirates Stadium is a football stadium in Holloway, London, England (UK), and the home of Arsenal F.C. With a capacity of 60,260 it is the fourth-largest football stadium in England after the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium, the 74,140-capacity Old Trafford and the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The ‘Goal’ further stated that the price hike is the first stadium wide rise since 2014 and will come into effect for the 2022-2023 seasons.

The Arsenal F.C. made the announcement ahead of the imminent release of the latest club accounts, which are forecast to include massive losses well in excess of £100 million due to the coronavirus pandemic which has made the sports venue sector business go belly-up.

What has been announced?

Arsenal confirmed on February 28th that “all season tickets and match day tickets” will be going up by four percent for the 2022-2023 campaign.

The rise comes following seven consecutive seasons of the club holding general admission ticket prices and is expected to generate an extra £3.8m in revenue.

In announcing the rise, a statement from the club said, “We recognize that no one welcomes price increases, and this decision has not been taken lightly. Ultimately in the face of continued rising costs, we need to continue to drive growth in all our revenue streams – including matchday – as part of our aim to return our finances to a break-even position in the medium term.”

What does it mean for fans?

The exact price rise Arsenal fans will face depends on what competitions the club competes in the next season and where they sit in the stadium.

Should Arsenal qualify for the Champions League, the average general admission ticket will go from £1,219 to £1,268.

If ‘The Gunners’ miss out on Europe entirely, however, the average general admission ticket will go from £1,010 to £1,050.

Fans furious

The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) have hit out at the price rise and a lack of consultation from the club over the matter.

A statement read, “The AST believes that the four percent ticket price increase is unjustified at a time Arsenal’s overall revenues are increasing and fans are experiencing other pressures on their disposable income. We pointed out to the club that in recent years they have secured big increases to other commercial and broadcast revenue streams and that the Premier League has just announced further big increases to future broadcast revenues and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) forecasting further increases too.”

The statement further read, “Arsenal first said they were planning on increasing ticket prices during meetings of the Arsenal Advisory Board and Fans’ Forum during February. The information was put forward as a decision that was being made. Attendees were specifically requested not to share the information more widely and no formal consultation took place. The AST challenged this approach. Following the debacle of the Super League there is supposed to be a greater effort being made by Arsenal, and all football clubs, to greater supporter engagement and dialog. An increase in ticket pricing is exactly the sort of issue these forums should be given more time to consider.”

Home ground revamp

The Arsenal F.C. has also confirmed that they are committing to some major refurbishment work on Emirates Stadium.

The club will begin a large-scale renovation of the stadium roof, which is expected to be ongoing for over 40 weeks.

Two new giant screens will be replacing the existing screens inside the stadium, while new turnstiles will be installed which will be aimed at cutting queuing time.

The outside of the stadium will also be given a major facelift, and the existing stadium wrap, which features 32 Arsenal legends standing arm in arm, will be replaced.

A fan consultation group is being created to help make a final decision on how the legends wrap will be replaced.

Arsenal has also announced a new 25 percent discount is being introduced for general admission season-ticket holders and single match tickets for fans aged between 19 and 21.

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