How the Bundesliga is better: ticket prices

Posted: February 1, 2012 in Bayern, Bundesliga, Germany, How the bundesliga is better
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Bayern’s impressive Allianz Arena – where you can see football for less than in the Conference

Safe standing, written about here, isn’t the only advantage the Bundesliga has over the Premier League when it comes to matchdays.

Ticket pricing is another issue where there is a stark contrast between Germany and England, and yet again it is Germany who comes up smelling of roses.

The average ticket price in the Bundesliga is around €12-15 – less than half of what a fan would normally pay to attend a game in the Premier League.

Included in the price, Bundesliga tickets also double as tickets for rail travel, meaning fans do not have to spend more money, on top of what they paid for their match ticket, to get to and from the game.

Gannin’ Away’s Andy Hudson said: “Darlington charged £18 for tickets to their match against Gateshead last season, in the Conference National! Bayern Munich charged €12 for a standing ticket for their Bundesliga games.

“Ticket prices in the UK exploit the fans; it simply isn’t affordable or sustainable. We’ve seen price freezes at many clubs because they cannot get fans to games and so, other than dropping prices, have nowhere left to go with their charging structure. What other industry has seen such a price hike, far exceeding yearly inflation, than the UK, and specifically English, football?

“I can travel abroad and see a game for less than travelling to Chelsea to see Newcastle’s away game, once food, drink, travel and what not is all factored in. We had the Sky invention of football in 1992 that coincided with clubs living above and beyond their means. This hasn’t happened in Germany where the fan involvement in the corridors of power has kept away, by-and-large, the grubby hands of those solely in it for the making of money.”

In November 2010, fans of St Pauli marched through the streets before their game against Wolfsburg, in a demonstration against ticket touts.

In August of that year, fans of Borussia Dortmund protested and boycotted their game away to Schalke – regarded as the biggest derby in Germany – as Schalke had increased ticket prices for the game to €22 – almost double the usual price.

To add context to that, when Sunderland travelled to QPR earlier this season, fans had to pay almost £50 for a ticket, and that did not include travel – which would probably amount to another £50.

So, with match tickets and travel included, fans in England pay around 4-5 times what fans in Germany do. There are no protests, no fans staying away or marching through the streets.

Germany sees the fans as exactly that. England sees the fans as consumers, just a number; people to spend money. Many fans over here in England ask how Germany got it so right. Fans in Germany are likely to ask, and we should perhaps do the same, how England got it so wrong.

You can follow Andy Hudson on Twitter: @HuddoHudson, and check out his website Gannin’ Away here.


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