Arsenal Football Club has announced the outcome of a major review of its ticketing approach ahead of the 2012/13 season.
The move follows extensive discussions with supporters’ groups and has led to changes designed to provide thousands of tickets at lower prices, reward season-ticket loyalty and improve the Ticket Exchange service.
Barclays Premier League matches at Emirates Stadium will be regraded into ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories, which will create approximately 90,000 lower-priced matchday tickets for non season-ticket holders across the season.
Ticket prices in the ‘C’ category matches will be on average 28 per cent lower than last season’s equivalent matches. For example, a match ticket in the North Bank Lower for the Premier League home match against Sunderland on Saturday August 18 will now be priced at £25.50, compared to £35.00 last season.
Also as part of the ticketing policy changes, member sale prices for ‘A’ category matches, where demand for tickets is highest, have increased on average by 23 per cent from last season. For example, a match ticket in the North Bank Lower for the Premier League home match against Chelsea on Saturday September 29 will be priced at £62.00, compared to £51.00 last season.
The lowest priced matchday ticket for next season will be £25.50 for a ‘C’ category match, with the highest priced ticket for next season being £126 for an ‘A’ category match. This top price ticket only represents approximately 1 per cent on average of available tickets in ‘A’ category matches.
The introduction of 90,000 lower-priced tickets follows the Club’s announcement of a price freeze on Gold Level season ticket renewals for the 2012/2013 season. This is the fourth year out of six that Arsenal has held season-ticket prices flat despite continuing pressure to keep pace with rising operational and player costs.
The moves follow consultation with the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association and the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust. Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “We have listened to our supporters and these moves respond to some of their key feedback.
“It has been a long-standing aim of the Club to find a way to provide more tickets at lower prices for some of our fixtures. We already significantly reduce prices to our home League Cup matches and now we have been able to offer around 90,000 lower-priced tickets to selected home Premier League matches.
“We constantly aim to strike the right balance between offering tickets at affordable prices, while ensuring we have sufficient income to reinvest in the squad. This is crucial as we look to compete at the top of the game in Europe.”
The Club has also announced enhancements to the Ticket Exchange service to make it easier for season-ticket holders who are unable to come to matches to sell their tickets online to fellow Arsenal fans.
More than 20,000 tickets were exchanged by supporters during the course of last season and from the start of the new campaign supporters will also be able to use the Ticket Exchange service to:
• Exchange tickets for UEFA Champions League matches (this excludes supporters who need to move as a result of UEFA requirements)
• Use a new interactive seat-map booking process. The booking process has been simplified for Silver and Red Members, so that available seats can be easily viewed and purchased.
During the first half of the 2012/13 season, the Club will also be launching a new service for supporters named ‘Ticket Transfer’. This is designed to make it easier for season-ticket holders to transfer their ticket to family and friends if they are unable to attend a game. Further details on ‘Ticket Transfer’ will be issued in due course.
The AISA and AST supporters’ groups welcomed the moves in a joint statement saying: "Lower prices for Premier League games are something that AISA and AST have been calling for. Today's announcement is an important step forward in enabling many supporters who have previously been unable to afford tickets to attend matches at Emirates Stadium. We welcome this development and urge the Club to continue to improve and develop its ticketing arrangements, building further on ideas submitted by supporters."
Please find below further information regarding the new match categories:
The match categories are ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’. Details of the categories of matches from the start of the season until the end of 2012 are as follows:
|Date (subject to change)||Opposition||Category|
|Saturday, August 18||Sunderland||C|
|Saturday, September 15||Southampton||C|
|Saturday, September 29||Chelsea||A|
|Saturday, October 27||Queens Park Rangers||B|
|Saturday, November 10||Fulham||B|
|Saturday, November 17||Tottenham Hotspur||A|
|Saturday, December 1||Swansea City||C|
|Saturday, December 8||West Bromwich Albion||C|
|Wednesday, December 26||West Ham United||B|
|Saturday, December 29||Newcastle United||B|
'A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories are only applicable to home Premier League fixtures.
There will be five ‘A’ Category, eight ‘B’ Category and six ‘C’ category matches in the Premier League across the season.
UEFA Champions League and FA Cup fixtures will be based on A and B pricing.
Pricing for the Capital One Cup (formerly the Carling Cup) will be similar to previous seasons.
Match details for fixtures from January 2013 will be communicated in due course.