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Old 29th April 2013, 14:43   #1
paulsre
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County Championship admission prices article

Good to see Tim Wigmore at cricinfo take up one of my favourite pet hate subjects: Couny Championship admission prices:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-c...ry/632985.html

I've ranted on enough about Essex's 17... and you can't sit there, go in there, or even in there policy, but there are plenty that deserve plaudits; one unsung policy is that Middlesex offer 5 admission on day 4 to watch matches at the home of cricket.
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Old 29th April 2013, 14:57   #2
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Good to see Tim Wigmore at cricinfo take up one of my favourite pet hate subjects: Couny Championship admission prices:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-c...ry/632985.html

I've ranted on enough about Essex's 17... and you can't sit there, go in there, or even in there policy, but there are plenty that deserve plaudits; one unsung policy is that Middlesex offer 5 admission on day 4 to watch matches at the home of cricket.
I wrote an extensive post on here some years back about pricing. My major conclusions were that ticketing for first-class cricket was under-advertised, over-priced, and completely contrary in its structuring to the kinds of people it is likely to attract - i.e. the non-working classes, be they the unemployed, retired, or as the article says 'under-employed'. As a working man who has an irregular week-day off, I would love to be at Trent Bridge today watching the cricket. But it's cold outside, and attending would cost me the best part of half a day's wages - after taxes and national insurance. I have bills to pay, rent to pay, food to buy, at a time when all of those commodities are at or close to a national high. Why on earth am I going to be attracted to a game of cricket? I'd love to go down to the cricket but haven't been in four years due to the prices. I haven't seen live top level cricket in three years, again due to the prices, other than on television. Naturally, nobody gives a f*ck. But I am convinced that counties could make money out of people like me with a little bit of innovation. How about something like a 5-day pass - five slips that get you into any five days of cricket at your county - for 30? Would it be worthwhile? I don't know. I'd probably pay 40 for it. Then a 10-day pass at 50 or something like that. Followed by a more realistic pricing structure.

10 per day, 5 after lunch, 3 after tea.

There's money to be made.
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Old 29th April 2013, 19:54   #3
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For a Championship match at Trent Bridge the admission prices per day are:

14 for adults;
8 for Juniors, Students and Senior Citizens;
3 tea time reduction on the first three days
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Old 29th April 2013, 21:47   #4
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Originally Posted by paulsre View Post
Good to see Tim Wigmore at cricinfo take up one of my favourite pet hate subjects: Couny Championship admission prices:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-c...ry/632985.html

I've ranted on enough about Essex's 17... and you can't sit there, go in there, or even in there policy, but there are plenty that deserve plaudits; one unsung policy is that Middlesex offer 5 admission on day 4 to watch matches at the home of cricket.
Tim Wigmore's on a roll. He wrote an excellent piece about Essex as well.

I agree entirely with him here as well. The pricing is crazy.

My love affair with cricket started with those free after tea sessions (combined with free-to-air test cricket). Aged 8 or however old I was I wouldn't have wanted to stay for a whole day, and that meant whoever took me wouldn't have been able to either. But what started as 2 hour sessions turned into whole days and then whole matches and now whole test series.
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Old 8th May 2013, 07:19   #5
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It's also worth remembering that, for county fans, the admission price is only part of what can be a pricey day out. For example, a Kent supporter living in Bromley would have to pay over 25 in rail fares just to get to the ground.

Having said that, it is still a remarkably low price for top-class domestic sport in England and compares well not only for Premiership football but also Premiership rugby - especially if one calculates the cost per hour.

But, I don't think the counties' pricing structure betrays an ignorance of the reality; for some time, I've felt that some, almost cynically, know the reality all too well. There aren't thousands of potential championship supporters out there waiting to flood the county grounds if only the prices were a bit lower (I've been along to a couple of Middx's cheap last days and it's the same old crowd as always). There are certainly many many cricket lovers in the UK, but most wouldn't set foot into a ground for a championship match if it were free admission and they were given discounted travel. I know plenty of people who will happily take a day off work and fork out up to 100 for a day at a Test match, but ask them to come along to a county game and it's all "haven't got the leave...it's a bit pricey".

So, rather than spend resources in trying to attract an army of phantom spectators, some counties have determined instead to squeeze a little more out of those that they know will turn up unceasingly. A few years back, Kent increased their basic membership subs by around 70% during the close season. There was the inevitable outrage and threats by members to cancel their allegiance but, surprise surprise, the vast majority continued to sign up and the club made a very healthy profit on the exercise.

For me, county cricket's problem is not its pricing but in promoting the attractiveness of the product itself. And it hasn't helped that so many within the game have decried it down the years.
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Old 12th May 2013, 20:36   #6
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I've a feeling that counties are doing everything they can to stop people attending championship matches

Firstly no one know when matches are going to start ... even members get confused so have can the casual fan know

Then there's actually getting in the ground. OK for members of the home county .... but many counties now don't accept cash on the gate but expect people to find the ticket office ... OK on smaller grounds but a 5-10 minute walk if one turns up at the Hutton Gates at Headingley ... something I've seen happen quite a lot recently ... as the ticket office is in the Cricket Centre on St Michael's LAne
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Old 12th May 2013, 21:48   #7
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Notts do a young person membership for u21s (just 34 a head), which I assume is targeted at the city's large student population. Although they'd be better off making it a student membership (which I think it once was, but could be wrong) as there are plenty of older Masters and PhD students (of which I once was, and definitely not wrong) who stay in the city all Summer and are more likely to frequent a range of games.
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Old 12th May 2013, 21:55   #8
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It's also worth remembering that, for county fans, the admission price is only part of what can be a pricey day out. For example, a Kent supporter living in Bromley would have to pay over 25 in rail fares just to get to the ground.

Having said that, it is still a remarkably low price for top-class domestic sport in England and compares well not only for Premiership football but also Premiership rugby - especially if one calculates the cost per hour.

But, I don't think the counties' pricing structure betrays an ignorance of the reality; for some time, I've felt that some, almost cynically, know the reality all too well. There aren't thousands of potential championship supporters out there waiting to flood the county grounds if only the prices were a bit lower (I've been along to a couple of Middx's cheap last days and it's the same old crowd as always). There are certainly many many cricket lovers in the UK, but most wouldn't set foot into a ground for a championship match if it were free admission and they were given discounted travel. I know plenty of people who will happily take a day off work and fork out up to 100 for a day at a Test match, but ask them to come along to a county game and it's all "haven't got the leave...it's a bit pricey".

So, rather than spend resources in trying to attract an army of phantom spectators, some counties have determined instead to squeeze a little more out of those that they know will turn up unceasingly. A few years back, Kent increased their basic membership subs by around 70% during the close season. There was the inevitable outrage and threats by members to cancel their allegiance but, surprise surprise, the vast majority continued to sign up and the club made a very healthy profit on the exercise.

For me, county cricket's problem is not its pricing but in promoting the attractiveness of the product itself. And it hasn't helped that so many within the game have decried it down the years.
I don't think the test match v county game comparison is that surprising. If you are going to take a day of work, I think most people would want it for something potentially special or of the highest quality.

The getting to the ground point is important too. I live in Notts but its a 45min bus ride plus 30min walk to TB (although there is some parking available). Not going to go down there for a game unless it beautiful and sunny and guaranteed a good match to be honest!
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Old 12th May 2013, 22:24   #9
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If you are going to take a day of work, I think most people would want it for something potentially special or of the highest quality.
That's very true. It just makes it all the more exasperating when folks who could use a day or two to watch county cricket end up frittering away 10 days on nothing in December because they never got around to using them.
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Old 12th May 2013, 22:30   #10
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That's very true. It just makes it all the more exasperating when folks who could use a day or two to watch county cricket end up frittering away 10 days on nothing in December because they never got around to using them.
Haha, true!
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Old 13th May 2013, 10:02   #11
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I don't think the test match v county game comparison is that surprising. If you are going to take a day of work, I think most people would want it for something potentially special or of the highest quality.
I think there is more to it than that, though. There simply isn't large-scale fanatical support for county cricket sides. I have known several people - and there are more than a few - who merrily take off several hours off work a year - in fact, pretty much construct their entire life around it - to spend considerable sums to travel across the country (e.g. leaving the home town at 3pm and returning at 1am) to watch their side slug out a 1-1 draw in a League 2 football match on a wet Tuesday night.

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I've a feeling that counties are doing everything they can to stop people attending championship matches

Firstly no one know when matches are going to start ... even members get confused so have can the casual fan know
Not trying to be sarcastic, but surely it can't be so difficult for members to write 8 home championship dates in one's diary/wall calendar/phone calendar when the fixtures come out?

But yes, you have a point. We've been here before, but the Championship comes third behind the t20 and YB40 when it comes to scheduling.

What's more, the competition has been reduced to one played out at the beginning and end of the season. I have plenty of free time coming up this summer, but when I look at the fixture list, choices are limited to say the least. After June 15, there's a grand total of just THREE CC matches during the remainder of the month.

In July, there's nothing after July 20, with the next CC action not until August 2, with yet another yawning gap from August 6 to August 20.

And when it comes to fans "not knowing", what the ECB have done is constantly tinker with the formats and competitions over recent years, so I am sure many a "casual fan" hasn't a clue what is going on in that respect. How many know about the structure of the YB40 competition and how qualification works, or even in the t20? Yet there are going to be even more changes next year.
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Old 13th May 2013, 11:17   #12
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I think there is more to it than that, though. There simply isn't large-scale fanatical support for county cricket sides. I have known several people - and there are more than a few - who merrily take off several hours off work a year - in fact, pretty much construct their entire life around it - to spend considerable sums to travel across the country (e.g. leaving the home town at 3pm and returning at 1am) to watch their side slug out a 1-1 draw in a League 2 football match on a wet Tuesday night.
You keep doing the football/ cricket comparison but it just doesn't make sense. I support Forest and Notts. I've had a look back at last season's Forest fixtures and I could have made every one without taking a single half day of leave. A couple would be a struggle (Palace and Blackpool on Tuesday nights) but I could have a chat to my boss, leave an hour early and make the time up.

Looking at this year's Championship games, I reckon that I could see 13 out of 64 days without taking leave and a big chunk of this is day 4 when the game may be over anyway.
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Old 13th May 2013, 11:45   #13
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You keep doing the football/ cricket comparison but it just doesn't make sense. I support Forest and Notts. I've had a look back at last season's Forest fixtures and I could have made every one without taking a single half day of leave. A couple would be a struggle (Palace and Blackpool on Tuesday nights) but I could have a chat to my boss, leave an hour early and make the time up.

Looking at this year's Championship games, I reckon that I could see 13 out of 64 days without taking leave and a big chunk of this is day 4 when the game may be over anyway.
Ah, but we are bless to live in such a centrally poised location. Less easy for a Darlington/Durham or Brighton/Sussex fan?

I agree with both your's and Paul's points. In particular, the structures of the tournaments in English cricket are confusing to follow and seemingly illogical at times (plus liable to change). I'd much prefer to see the one-day and T20 tournament confined to shorter periods in the calendar. It has never made much sense to me that the YB40 has a host of games now then a big gap with a bunch at the end http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/e...e-day/fixtures (although at least its better than before when all the prelim games were in early season with the finals in August).

I'd like to see a stripped down T20 competition, maybe done on a franchise rather than county basis, in a one month-6week window occurring later in the season and after completion of the one-day comp. But anyway, getting off topic...
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Old 13th May 2013, 12:05   #14
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Ah, but we are bless to live in such a centrally poised location. Less easy for a Darlington/Durham or Brighton/Sussex fan?
True to a point but I've just looked at Brighton's fixtures for the past season. They had Blackburn and Barnsley away on Tuesday nights and Leicester too which would be in a just about doable location.

So, to see every Brighton Fixture would require the average worker to take 2/3 half days.

To see every Sussex County Championship game (I'm assuming their fixtures are similar to Notts) would require about 51 days of annual leave (and I've not even bothered with the one day stuff.)

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Old 13th May 2013, 12:12   #15
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Is there such a thing as a 'casual county cricket fan'. Or are such creatures about as likely as casual trainspotters?
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Old 13th May 2013, 13:38   #16
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When I was young there were 'casual country cricket watchers', they'd turn up when Yorkshire were playing in their area ... in my case Abbeydale or even Chesterfield. Some also travelled to other grounds ... if a nice day was forecast for a Saturday or Sunday people whould check to see if Yorkshire were at home. That's what happened to me. After a couple of seasons I got talked into becoming a member & its been downhill ever since.

In recent years not only Saturdays but even Sundays often are cricket free. Hopefully sttarting matches on Sunday from next year may start to reintroduce the 'causal watcher'.
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Old 13th May 2013, 17:41   #17
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I think there is more to it than that, though. There simply isn't large-scale fanatical support for county cricket sides. I have known several people - and there are more than a few - who merrily take off several hours off work a year - in fact, pretty much construct their entire life around it - to spend considerable sums to travel across the country (e.g. leaving the home town at 3pm and returning at 1am) to watch their side slug out a 1-1 draw in a League 2 football match on a wet Tuesday night.



Not trying to be sarcastic, but surely it can't be so difficult for members to write 8 home championship dates in one's diary/wall calendar/phone calendar when the fixtures come out?

But yes, you have a point. We've been here before, but the Championship comes third behind the t20 and YB40 when it comes to scheduling.

What's more, the competition has been reduced to one played out at the beginning and end of the season. I have plenty of free time coming up this summer, but when I look at the fixture list, choices are limited to say the least. After June 15, there's a grand total of just THREE CC matches during the remainder of the month.

In July, there's nothing after July 20, with the next CC action not until August 2, with yet another yawning gap from August 6 to August 20.

And when it comes to fans "not knowing", what the ECB have done is constantly tinker with the formats and competitions over recent years, so I am sure many a "casual fan" hasn't a clue what is going on in that respect. How many know about the structure of the YB40 competition and how qualification works, or even in the t20? Yet there are going to be even more changes next year.
I've watched 30+ football games a season consistently for the last 20 years and I've only ever used half a day's holiday.

As a follower of a league two football team, this last season I could have seen 45 league matches out of 46 without taking any time off work. The exception was an away trip to Bristol Rovers, which I'd have probably needed half a day's holiday for had I bothered. I wasn't bothered though.

Last year I could have seen a grand total of 0 county championship matches in full without taking time off work. Alternatively I probably could have seen about 8 days of championship cricket in total without taking time off but it's a relatively unsatisfactory experience watching a day's cricket and not knowing what the result is. It's like picking up a book and reading it but as soon as you get engrossed in it, having to return it to the library.

The 8 days is of course assuming no early finishes (Essex's atrocious batting cost us a couple of days' cricket) or no rain. I could do more but what's the point of me booking two days of holiday when it rains or there's no play because Essex have been so **** it's over within two and a half days?

T20s appeal is that I can see a game of cricket after work.
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Old 14th May 2013, 00:48   #18
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T20s appeal is that I can see a game of cricket after work.
But isn't that like picking up a book and finding that the first 300 pages have been ripped out, leaving only the closing chapter?
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Old 14th May 2013, 03:15   #19
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Points taken about the football comparison. But the point also was that far more people seem prepared to invest considerable time and money in devotedly watching even a lower level football side than they will to watching a county cricket team.
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:28   #20
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Points taken about the football comparison. But the point also was that far more people seem prepared to invest considerable time and money in devotedly watching even a lower level football side than they will to watching a county cricket team.
Which is my central point. Whilst there will be cricket fans who cannot afford the time or money to attend county games, there will also be many who can, but elect not to. It therefore comes down to the attractiveness of the product and, if that's failing, then even free entry is not going to pull in a substantial increase in attendance. Hence, many counties see no point in discounting their prices.
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