In a positive move Aston Villa abolished price categorisation for home games next season for individual match day tickets, although there were no reductions forthcoming with the Upper Trinity tier remaining closed.
Normally games against the bigger teams of the division are priced slightly higher for home fans, than those against lesser clubs. Granted, there is less diversification in terms of the range of clubs in the Championship compared to the Premier League, so the move by Villa reflects the more uniformed nature of the league, when you consider the league is made up with the likes of Leeds, Forest, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Wolves, Derby, Blues, Middlesborough, Fulham, Norwich, Bolton, Ipswich etc.
The cheapest price for an adult ticket will be £20 in the wings of the Lower Holte, while Under-16 supporters can get these tickets for £5, while Under-21 fans would pay £10.
In terms of other tickets, Villa adult home tickets will be between £23 and £33, while Under-21’s will be paying £15-17 and Under-16’s £10. Over 65’s and Student and Armed Forces will be looking to pay £20 for their tickets.
Aston Villa Price Chart
(Graphics courtesy of avfc.co.uk)
MOMS still maintains the attitude from the start of last season, that the club should perhaps try to use the negative of being in the Championship as a positive step to get Villans to the stadium through a reduced pricing structure.
The aim would be rallying a bigger match-day backing through-out the season for a promotion push and as a result, Villa would reap the addition commercial benefits of having a greater footfall at Villa Park.
Last season, with the closing of the Upper Trinity Tier, the club sided on caution, although one positive effect of it last season was to push more supporters closer to the pitch to create an atmosphere.
Yet, an alternative could have been to offer a limited edition number of cheap season tickets (for longer serving season ticket holders). Huddersfield Town, for example, have pledged that next season the first 17,000 season cards will be priced at £199 for adults and they of course, will be watching Premier League football. Recently, Bradford City too have successfully ran reduced season ticket schemes to re-energise their home fanbases.
One thing that holds back the reduction of individual match day tickets is the reaction of season card holders, who’s savings would be cut into. So, a season card promotion would help address that.
Of course, its a difficult science to get right, when the team’s form is not guaranteed.
Speaking of which, at this stage, more important to attendances will be what happens on the pitch from the get go. Get that right and after the early part of the season, if 2018 begins with Villa looking good for a promotion push, then the Upper Trinity tier could even be re-opened. But, if Villans are subjected to another season like last season, then there will be a a big downturn in match-going support for the season that follows, regardless of the price.
So Mr Bruce…it’s promotion or bust!