How to win friends and influence people… or not

I’ve thought of writing about ticket prices at Portman Road for a while. I’m particularly concerned about the cost for visiting fans, but I’d almost decided against it until today when I saw yet another complaint about our ticket prices, this time from a Bolton Wanderers’ fan on Twitter:

swfc tweet

When I first started supporting Town, I was surprised and a little bit pleased at the reaction of friends who supported other clubs. We had a reputation for being a decent club with a history of playing good, entertaining football and hospitality – I don’t mean the Mr. John type of boardroom largesse, but the generally warm and welcoming atmosphere at PR. I can remember Pat Murphy on 5Live waxing lyrical about ITFC’s return to the Premiership in 2000: “a town with good football, good people and good beer,” he’d said, having possibly enjoyed a couple of pints of Broadside first. We were a kind of anti-Millwall: “Everybody likes us and we’re feeling quite nonchalant about it.”

The Trotters’ fan’s tweet was by no means the first that I’ve seen complaining about ticket prices. It’s becoming quite common. And, let’s face it, we’ve hardly been offering much in return for their money. However much I enjoyed myself at the game on Saturday – and I really did enjoy it – it’s a long time since we’ve been the most attractive team to watch. I used to sit next to the away supporters’ area in the Cobbold and it’s not exactly the most luxurious environment either.

At a time when it’s tough financially for most football supporters, it seems wrong somehow to be acquiring a reputation for ripping people off. The growing area of empty blue seats in the away section means that people are staying away and the atmosphere at Portman Road will, in my humble opinion, be the worse for it.

SG

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4 Responses to How to win friends and influence people… or not

  1. Izzy says:

    For home fans, I think the problem is finding the cheap seats. If you check out BBC Sport Price of Football survey 2012 then Ipswich do have the most expensive seats in the division. But if you look at the cheapest match day seats, then Town are in the middle of the pack. But, speaking personally as a pay-on-the-day fan, I’ve never managed to buy a ticket for £22.50!

    Of course, if we were winning, I’d be less worried about the price of my ticket!

    • I expect we might feel differently if we were doing better but I still think the principle of what I said is correct. Many people (both home and away supporters) are being priced out of football at this level, imho. I don’t see the point of having a half-empty ground. Why not do some more deals, like “kids for a quid” and fill PR up? (Susan)

  2. David Jones says:

    £31 pounds for a away ticket come on be fair with people you dont deserve any one to come but we do because we love the game but it will become to much think fill you grounds drop you prices

    • Well, that’s exactly my point. :-)
      Prices at PR are too high, in my opinion, for both home and away fans. I’d rather have a full ground, which in turn means a better atmosphere. Some of my best times at Portman Road have been in a full stadium with a massive and noisy away contingent. Clubs have got to recognise that people can’t afford these high ticket prices. (Susan)

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