Friday, 12 April 2013

What price to see AFCB from the Family stand next season?

It is perfectly good business sense for AFCB to delay announcing any season ticket prices for next season until they see exactly where the team will be playing next season.

As you all know, if the Cherries do win promotion it will be a big job to build the South stand in time for early August even though all the paper work is said to be in place and the finance available. That would of course raise the capacity to around 12,000 which means extra revenue for the club every home game if they can fill the stadium.

But what price would you expect to pay for a seat in the Family stand next season? I imagine that the commercial department at AFCB has already been crunching the numbers and will have worked out what the prices would be. But what do you think is value for money?

We can get a feel for the kind of prices paid by clubs in the Championship at the moment by seeing what clubs of a similar size as AFCB are asking. I haven't time to check every team in the Championship, so this is only a small sample indication. 

Peterborough Utd for example had a gate of 9236 for the recent visit of league leaders Cardiff City, so similar to our good gates. You might think Peterborough would have a simple pricing policy for families but they categorise games into A, B and C depending on the reputation/size of the opposition. Actually there are only 4 teams in section B, and 3 in section C, all the rest are category A. So for 2 adults and 2 children U16 you could see a game at London Road for either  C- £40 B- £46 or A- £50 (all prices from Peterborough Utd's website - they have frozen prices for next season). 

According to AFCB's club website this compares to our pay on the door price for the Family stand (if you don't have Junior cherry memberships) of £46 for 2 adults and 2 children U16. Of course the discounts Junior Cherries receive for a £6 membership can be amazing with up to 40-50% off ticket prices at AFCB. 

Peterborough Utd also has a similar Junior Posh scheme for U16 at 
£10 a year, but I did not see a discount on ticket price for joining. They do allow up to three U10s in free though with paying adults.

A family stand ticket for an adult at Peterborough next season in their London Road stand will be £275 before the end of April. If you want to add two junior Posh fans that is another  £70 each, making a family total of  £415. Mind you, you have to watch the Posh play and not the Cherries, apart from one game if AFCB get to the Championship.

This season AFCB adults wanting a family stand season ticket needed to pay 
£275 according to match day programmes, but this included a Junior Cherry as well! However, AFCB's full Family season ticket price for 2 adults and 2 Junior Cherries in the Family stand this season was
 £550. This then looks a bit pricey for a League One club.

Barnsley sometimes have gates of around 10,000 for their less popular fixtures in the Championship and they ask for £325 for Adults in their lowest priced stand and the first 5-11 year old is free but the second costs £30 for the season. But then you might expect it to be a good price up north.

At Watford next season an adult can gain entrance for 
£335 with 8-15 year olds paying £30 if they booked early. A second adult would add £170, so for a family of four with another child that would make £565. Remember also that their crowds are bigger at over 15,000. 

May be we should all ask for AFCB to employ Bristol City's Family ticket price from 2012-13, which was
£221 for an adult and child, or £239 for an adult and two children, and £415 for 2 adults and 2 children (the same as the Posh). Mind you, there attendances are around 20, 000 which makes a difference to the pricing policy.

Of course there have also been great half season ticket prices at the Cherries and no doubt this will also be a good option next season. I thought
£142 for an adult and 2 Junior Cherries in the Family stand for half the season was not to be missed. Even two adults and 2 Junior Cherries for the half season at £240 seemed a reasonable discount, considering our league position at the time.

What I am trying to say is that at AFCB, we are currently paying Championship prices in the Family stand and I only hope that the extra funds needed for the South stand, and the better facilities we have at our stadium, do not accelerate prices too steeply.

Furthermore, I can't say that Peterborough Utd, Barnsley, Watford or Bristol City fans have a match day experience as enjoyable as ours, even if they are in the Championship and we are in League One, and of course AFCB can charge what it feels is the going rate for its match day experience. It's been pretty good this year, hasn't it?

Last year the Cherries actually reduced season prices in the Family stand for an adult down from 
£304 to
£275, as previously mentioned. But we all want a better deal, especially in the current economic climate.

By the way, I just had a quick look on League One Oldham's site and the price for a Family of 4 this season was 
£636 - ouch! I think they have a points scheme where you can receive money back but really, that seems steep.

I am sure AFCB will try and be as competitive as they can be over prices as the dividends have been seen in the large expansion of Junior Cherries this season up to 1411 from 1000 in 2010-11.

Unfortunately, success will also bring higher prices if we are to continue to be competitive on the pitch. It's been 27 years by my calculations since Dean Court last saw second tier English football, can you afford to miss this opportunity if the Cherries go up? Perhaps it's time to check the piggy bank!

The Misses may not like the UK holiday this year as opposed to more exotic destinations, but come Mid-August and the new season, perhaps she will understand. Am I wrong?


  1. Admirable research on the ticket prices!

  2. Pretty cheap for a family season ticket Imo this time in the family stand

  3. I've only missed 3 home matches and brought a half season ticket. But I'm going to dig deep and buy one this year.