On the back of a successful season that saw them achieve their highest ever Premier League finish, West Brom have reduced ticket prices in a bid to help the local community afford to watch live football matches and to encourage families and young fans to attend more games.
West Bromwich Albion have reduced all adult season tickets by £50 and knocked up to £70 off the cost of seats for youngsters. This is especially impressive considering that other clubs with outstanding seasons have all looked to increase ticket prices across the board. Man City, Reading, Swansea, Fulham and Norwich are all clubs that have hiked prices to either match demand or to bring ticket prices in line with ‘Premier League pricing’.
And unlike a few other Premier League clubs, Albion has little local pressure to drop prices. WBA’s 23,622 home allocation was 96% fully subscribed last season, and with the season ticket price cuts and the club on a stable footing in the league, WBA is likely to attract more fans now, especially from a younger generation.
In fact the club is mindful of the fact that they have a responsibility to help people in an area that has been particularly hard hit economically, and to also capitalise on their Premier League status by reaching out to local fans and making up for lost time when, in their words, a generation of supporters was lost.
Mike Jenkins, the Albion chief executive:
“I think our season-ticket prices for this season were already very competitive given our location and the size of the stadium, particularly when you look at our rivals, but we felt that we could still do more in the current climate.
There’s no doubt that youth unemployment is a very big issue at present. I’m a parent and I know full well that for teenagers and those in their early twenties even finding part-time employment is tough, never mind a full-time job. As a result we’ve really tried to focus on them and to focus on juniors too. In many ways that is the single biggest motivation behind our pricing strategy – to secure the next generation of fans.
Having talked with the consultation group, to season-ticket holders and supporters, it’s clear we lost a large number of a whole generation of fans between 1986 and 2002, primarily because we were out of the top division and struggling in that period but also because there were very harsh economic times in this area. If you look at the make-up of our crowd, there is definitely a weighting towards people from around 40 and older, and that reflects that period in time when we failed to attract as many new fans as we should have.”
West Brom Ticket Prices for 2012/2013
Albion have taken the unprecedented step of cutting season tickets by big margins, with the exception of the over-60s category where prices are frozen. All adult season tickets are down by £50, the Under-18 discount has been extended to Under-21s, where prices are reduced by up to £70, and the Under-16 discount has been extended to Under-17s, where prices are reduced by up to £30. Mark Jenkins, Albion’s chief executive, said: “We are hopeful this will lead to more young fans and families attending our home matches.”
Figures in full: Season-ticket prices reduced 11.3% for adults, frozen for over 60s, reduced 17.6% for U21s/U18s, reduced 14.98% for U17s/U16s renewing before 1 June (adults £349-£449, Over 60s £269-£329, U21s £199-£299, U17s £99-£139). Matchday prices: tbc.