Football is believed to be the most global sport in the world. With its immense fandom and influence, it attracts a wide range of audiences. However, for most of the demographic, watching their favorite football team play a live match from the stadium stands is still a dream to chase. The prime reason for that is considered to be the steep ticket prices. These pricey costs of the tickets, averaging nearly 119 pounds a match, make it hard to afford, especially for students, who are considered to be the largest target audiences of the game.
Keeping these facts in mind, Manchester City FC has taken a step forward in this direction. The Manchester side is to play the German side, RB Leipzig in the Champions League group stage on 29th November at the Etihad stadium.
The Sky Blues have listed their matchday tickets for the game on UNiDAYS. Notably, the club has opened opportunities for the students to enjoy the experience of the game at an affordable rate.
They have provided special discounts for student tickets priced at 22.50 pounds. Special discount coupons are provided to ensure that the unaffordability is no hindrance to the game. However, this approach has divided the fan bases extensively.
Many people have come forth and have genuinely appreciated this move by the club. They consider it to be a correct move on the right direction. “A football team that actually cares about its supporters and doesn’t make it financially impossible to support them at the ground” is how a Twitter user described the club.
François Plateau, a sport journalist for the EPL appreciated this step. “It’s a great initiative. More teams should follow,” he commented.
However, on the flip side, this step became a central topic of banter by some people. A particular Manchester United fan by the name @UnitedKain took to Twitter to criticize the move by saying “People don’t seem to grasp the concept that if City didn’t have to do this to sell tickets then they wouldn’t be. It’s not like they’re doing it out of the goodness of their heart.”
The adamant United fan condemned the action by saying “Manchester City also put their Champions League tickets last year against Copenhagen on UNiDAYS for even cheaper at £14.50 as they couldn’t sell them out. Did the same for Sevilla.”
He seemed to be convinced that this was not a noble but a business-minded idea pointing out that the central idea of this move revolved around the economics of demand and supply. With low demand and high supply, prices are automatically lowered so that the barriers to purchasing tickets are removed resulting in more ticket sales. He seems to believe that City was forced to lower the ticket prices to be able to fill seats at the Etihad Stadium.
However this theory did not sit well among the fan base of the City club and they opposed the United fan by commenting “Criticising them for having cheaper tickets is not it chief, considering the cost of living crisis we’re experiencing currently”.
“Football tribalism is so deeply rooted for some that a football club making Champions League tickets affordable for students is viewed as amusing. Regardless of whether or not the seats would be empty otherwise, it should be applauded at a time when loads of people are skint”, said another user.
Even a Liverpool fan supported City by commenting “I’d kill to be able to get a Liverpool ticket for £20. It’s nothing to be mocked.”
With the cost of living in UK skyrocketing day by day and with such a high rate of inflation, a deduction in the ticket prices of one’s favourite football club is nothing short of a relief. It is a blessing for people wanting to experience the vibe of the stadium for whom the regular average ticket price becomes unaffordable. Additionally, this will help the game reach out to a wider group of audiences.
Now is it really a move that is purely out of love and appreciation for the fan bases or are there any dirty economics involved? It’s a thing to really think about.