Monday, 15 August 2016

Hammers Take the Long View

Affordable football is a phrase that is bandied about with abandon by many but few clubs actually deliver. Not so West Ham United where the board promised that a decent percentage of seats would be on offer at the price of £289. One suspects that the price was deliberately selected to be the least expensive in the Premiership, but Hull City's promotion pushed the Hammers to second place for in the cheapest tickets league listed in the Daily Star.

However, the move proved an excellent way of mobilising the Hammers support with a waiting list of somewhere between 20-30,000 fans hoping to get the call at some point. This is a truly remarkable achievement given that the increase in capacity at the Olympic Stadium compared to Upton Park is more than 25,000. With a waiting (priority) list so long, one wonders if the board may be wishing that they asked for more? However, in keeping with their preference for taking the longer view, garnering interest and a tangible connection to the club in its new era probably took priority over any short term financial gains from higher season ticket prices.

Having sold 50,000 season tickets and gained permission to increase capacity on matchdays to 60,000, the Hammers are hoping to further increase the seating, which one suspects will ultimately approach 65,000. There have been a few quibbles about the quality of the view in these band 5 seats, but at an average of £15 a game, it's hard to complain too much. As a comparison point, the cheapest season tickets at Arsenal are almost four times the price!

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