There have been a couple of excellent articles from people outside cricket (TheFullToss and Dmitri) regarding the attendances at the recent Test matches held in England, published alongside some excellent comments BTL which are worth a read too. Graeme Swann presumed people paid “about twenty quid” to watch a day at the cricket – given I paid £60 for a ticket at the Rose Bowl last week, and face value was £65 for an unremarkable view at Lords the week before, Swann was only “about” 200% wrong.
So I thought I would do a bit of research into ticket prices over the years. The method was unscientific: in the absence of any actual data, I have gone on random online ticket stubs. The results were not surprising: obviously inflation means that costs *should* rise. But by this much? By my reckoning, they’ve increased 33% in the past 5 years.
1. 1984. The West Indies at the peak of their powers. Lords, the home of champagne. Ticket cost: £7.50.
2. 1991. The West Indies still pretty much the best side on the globe. Edgbaston, England’s second city; the home of Ashley Giles. Ticket price: £12.
3. 2001 Australia at the peak of their powers. The economy at the peak of it’s biggest boom period since the post-war period; even Manchester is thriving. Ticket price: £34.
4. 2004. The declining West Indies rock up to The Oval (the home of Mark Ramprakash). Cricket is still on terrestrial TV. Ticket cost: £40.
5. 2008. South Africa, consistently one of the best two sides in the world for the previous decade, visit the home of Neil Carter. Cricket is being funded by SKY, for SKY. Ticket Price: £45.
So since in the five years from 2008 to present, there has been the biggest rise in ticket prices since the 1990s, up just a fraction over 133%. I won’t post too many conclusions, but let’s just say that this increase coincides with the ECB creating the horrific ‘bidding process’ – which basically aims to squeeze every last drop from the County grounds hosting the matches, and the County grounds in turn have to squeeze every last drop from the paying fans. Thanks ECB! Again…