£100 Off Current Adult Prices
This lunchtime, Celtic Football Club announced that they would be slashing their season ticket prices for the 2013/14 season (as detailed here). The notable highlight of this reduction, which was pre-empted by rumours of such a decision, is that £100 will be taken of the price of current adult tickets. This will mean that, someone like myself, who has been a season ticket holder for eight years, will be able to purchase their cheapest season ticket ever next year, which is tremendous.
The scheme will also allow children and families more affordable access to Celtic Park, with only £50 being asked for children under the age of thirteen, £105 for thirteen to sixteen year olds, and £186 for seventeen and eighteen year old young adults.
The Club have also announced there will be an “improved match day experience and entertainment improved family stand area, brand new disabled supporters’ facility and viewing area, and upgraded hospitality suites”.
Celtic Football Club must receive vast praise for this bold move, which, despite many feeling it was sorely needed, could very easily have been left as nothing more than rejected idea.
Critically though, the Club have announced this is a “one-off reward”, and the interpretation of that phrase will undoubtedly bring some speculation amongst the support. Yes, everyone is rightly delighted that the tickets will be more affordable next season, but the Club must be wary of immediately raising prices back to their current levels in 2014/15, especially if there is a big uptake with new season ticket holders.
With no real sign of an economic recovery in this country, it would be foolish to allow thousands of new season ticket holders to buy tickets, only to price them out again once more in 2014/15.
In all likelihood, I would imagine this is why the club have been somewhat vague about their intentions. They’re taking a financial gamble with this scheme (cleverly after a very lucrative 2012/13 to cover any risk), and I would imagine they, like the fan base, will be waiting to see how things go.
If, unlikely as it may be, the scheme failed miserably, they could point to this and return the prices to their current levels. However, if it is a notable success, hopefully they will see this a sign of progress, and keep the new season ticket prices near, or as close to, their new levels as possible. After all, with higher attendances not only comes fewer empty spaces, but also increased chances for revenue expansion through the sales of merchandise, food (which we are still striving to see improved dramatically) and windfall tickets, amongst others.
All in all, this announcement has been a fantastic step forward from the Football Club, and they must take tremendous credit not only for the reduction, but for having the vision and guts to implement it. However, whilst it has been a huge step, it is only a step. Providing attendances and and season ticket sales rise by a significant amount, the season ticket prices for 2014/15 must remain near to new levels, so as to allow not only long term season ticket holders, but newer ones too, of all ages, the opportunity to watch the team they love in the stadium they are all so very proud of.
Well done Celtic, well done.