There is little denying the fact that the UK is a nation that is crazy about sport. But while the UK has given the world hugely popular sports like football, cricket, and rugby, it seems that we might be pricing our fans out of the game.
A recent report by the BBC found that many young people are being put off by the high cost of going to football matches. It’s something that gets reflected across many other top UK sporting events that range from the British Grand Prix to Wimbledon. So what can be done to ensure Britain’s sports fans get to see the best sporting events in the flesh?
Attempts Made To Bring More People To Live Sports
Just this week, we saw the Premier League club Newcastle United offering football fans half-price season tickets. The moves got made in a bid to try and halt falling attendances that the club had been suffering in recent times. The club’s recent home win against Southampton was viewed by just 42,303 supporters who made it the lowest attendance for a Premier League match at St James’ Park since 2010.
Special offers like this have long been in use at many of the nation’s sports bookmakers. Besides offering the best odds possible, they have introduced various exclusive promotions and bonuses to keep fans engaged. Numerous sports betting sites have put on deals like this Betstars bonus code, where fans get to enjoy a boost on their betting funds. It’s this attention to value-for-money that is critical to ensuring that Britain’s sports fans get what they feel is a fair deal from the country’s bookmakers.
But for too long, many sports fans in the UK have felt ripped off by the most prominent sporting institutions. With Premier League clubs like Arsenal thinking nothing of charging their fans as much as £97 for a Class A ticket, it seems that many people are choosing to stay at home and watch ‘the beautiful game’ on one of the slightly less expensive TV channels.
A Culture Of Fleecing The Fans
It’s not just ticket prices that are causing damage to the UK’s sports fans’ wallets. Recently we saw an article by The Sportsman that pointed out how food and drink prices at major sporting events are also reaching eye-watering levels.
Gone are the days when going to a football match meant getting a cut-price pie, as now a burger at Wembley costs £7.20 and even a bottle of water can set fans back a not insubstantial £2.50.
It’s something that really gets painful when it comes to sports merchandising. Fans are now getting suckered into paying for evermore elaborate merchandise when they go to sporting events. From dubiously priced programs that are full of advertisements to personalised team shirts that cost an extra £30, it seems that significant sporting institutions are determined to squeeze fans for their cash.
Little Evidence Of A Trickle-down Effect
Most sports fans are happy to pay slightly higher prices to support the sporting institutions they love. Despite this, there has been a somewhat off-balance approach to the way that money gets distributed in the sporting world, with the larger organisations getting the bulk of the cash, while grassroots clubs are having to fight for their survival.
It’s something that is mirrored in today’s live music scene. While influential artists like Dermot Kennedy can pack out venues like the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, when it comes to the smaller venues, many are struggling to stay afloat.
There have been calls for a more excellent distribution of resources among the larger and smaller sporting institutions in the UK. Similarly, there could be benefits to implementing an approach similar to that enjoyed by the Bundesliga football league in Germany, where member-owned clubs ensure that ticket prices are kept low. But as long as the sport in the UK gets treated as a money-making exercise, then we can continue to see the fans getting fleeced.