Build it, but will they come?

by Vass Koni

With the new stadium looming over White Hart Lane, Vass discusses ticket pricing and what the future holds for the Tottenham faithful.

There is a scene in The Matrix where Morpheus is explaining to Neo about the current reality and how the world got to where it got to. In his words he said this: “at some point in the early 21st century all of mankind was united in celebration. We marvelled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI”

For “mankind” substitute “Spurs Fans” and for “AI” substitute “New Stadium”. Then pause and think for a moment. Now I am looking forward to the new stadium arriving as much as the next guy, but how long before the euphoria wears off and we are hit with a large dose of reality.

Yes we know the reasons why modern football is sending many clubs down this road. It is about maintaining a competitive edge and not being left behind. But most of all it is about money. It is about continuing to oil the wheel of spiralling transfer fees, player wages, agent fees and club profitability. And as ever it is Joe public that will feel the pinch.

The new stadium video diaries posted by Spurs social media teams are one of the most watched ever for a development project. Every now and again progress updates hit our Twitter feeds or our Facebook timelines and the “shares”, “likes” and “comments” explode. Don’t get me wrong it is definitely something to get excited about and the club certainly needs us to be excited about it because it is banking on us to commit to it financially at some point.

And this is where it is likely to get painful for many people. Of course “modern football” has gentrified the attendances of Premier League games in particular. The working class supporter has been priced out of regular attendance at games a long time ago. Walking up to the turnstile, paying some cash and walking in to watch a game of football seems like something from a bygone age. Believe me it wasn’t that long ago.

There will be an increased capacity which ought to mean greater availability of tickets, but how many people will be able to commit to a season ticket nowadays and at what cost?

Many supporters have had to pick and choose their games for a while now. Consider a father and son, even one eligible for a junior ticket, and a match day experience could cost in the region of £150 when you factor in travel and other expenses. No small change. Now consider that as a family of four.

And for many it just isn’t an option to do that for 20+ weeks in a 52 week year. The New Stadium is designed to give the fan an aforementioned match day experience much like you get when going to a concert or dare I say it an NFL game. Personally I am a big fan of the NFL and have been for years. But consider the difference in attending all Premier League home games against 8 or a maximum of 10 home games in an NFL season if you are successful. The difference in commitment is stark.

Ticket pricing will be key once the New Stadium is delivered. I know that the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust are working with the club to focus on this issue when the new stadium opens. Hopefully the message will get through to those decision makers. There will be an increased capacity which ought to mean greater availability of tickets, but how many people will be able to commit to a season ticket nowadays and at what cost?

I used to be a long time season ticket holder. But I had to give it up in 2004 due to a change in my own personal circumstances. Plus my boys were growing up and I wanted to go with them and I couldn’t afford to pay for three season tickets. Now I am hoping to be in a position to reapply for a season ticket again when the New Stadium opens, but guess what?

My boys now have a mortgage and other costs to contend with and can’t commit to the financial outlay, so it seems I may be faced with doing so on my own again. (Well if that isn’t Spursy!). I use myself as an example to illustrate the point, as I am sure that there will be many similar stories to mine.

Fans that used to attend regularly are doing so less often. The downside is that these fans are being bundled into the same “plastic” group by those fans still fortunate enough to be able to attend

The way ticket pricing has been factored in over the years means that fans have indeed needed to be selective on attendance. Fans that used to attend regularly are doing so less often. The downside is that these fans are being bundled into the same “plastic” group by those fans still fortunate enough to be able to attend week in week out. A by-product of modern football is seemingly being able to categorise your allegiance by your badge of attendance. Not something that I personally subscribe to.

Modern stadia are now filled with casual and occasional fans. The clubs don’t really care as the tickets are still selling, but it can no doubt affect the atmosphere within grounds. Hopefully Spurs have done something to alleviate this when the ground is finally delivered. The single tier end will be a massive help for this especially if like-minded people congregate there.

The fact is though that with the old White Hart Lane finally gone along with the anticipation of the New Stadium’s arrival, it will be back to business as usual. For business is precisely what it is and we are ultimately nothing but paying customers. Thank goodness for the distraction on the pitch. As long as we are successful there then I guess we can swallow that pricing pill. Just have to decide whether to take the blue one or the red one I suppose!

For the casual fan, tickets are no longer difficult to obtain for a single game. Spurs tickets, and even Champions League Final tickets are available online.
However, those services cannot provide season tickets, and even if they did the price would be exorbitant.

Author

Vass Koni

Disclaimer

All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

Share

Fanzine Issue #5
Fanzine

Order Online Now!

Spurs Fans Forum
Fanzine

Join now!