'There is no sign that people are saying it is too expensive' January 21, 2008

Oval tickets top £100

Cricinfo staff

Some tickets for the ODI against New Zealand in June at The Oval have gone on sale priced at £103 © Getty Images

The Oval has become the first ground to charge more than £100 for a non-corporate seat for an international in England. Some tickets for the ODI against New Zealand in June have gone on sale priced at £103.

"We haven't had negative feedback," Paul Blanchard, Surrey's sales and marketing director, told The Wisden Cricketer. "We had around 40,000 failed applicants and we sold out quicker than in any of the previous two years. There is no sign that people are saying it is too expensive ... in fact, demand is increasing and increasing.

"The vast majority of tickets we sell are at around £50 to £62 for the ODIs and a bit cheaper for the Tests."

The most expensive public ticket for a game at Lord's this summer is £75 while the cheapest is at Headingley where a seat for the first day of the South Africa Test can be had for £18.

Blanchard warned that prices might continue to rise. "People ring us and accuse us of not charging enough because they have not been able to get the tickets."

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  • Paul on January 22, 2008, 19:59 GMT

    When are the cricket grounds going to look seriously at expanding capacity. If you add 10,000 seats to a ground at for example £50, that's an extra £500000 pounds. Do that for 4 days and you've £2 million pounds in extra revenue.

  • Jim on January 22, 2008, 17:50 GMT

    Surrey have completely changed over the last couple of years. My father has been buying tickets to see Test matches there for ages - I saw my first Test match there with him - and always sent out an application form to its regular customers. Even though we brought tickets last year there was no letter application form through the post, and by the time my dad had realised and got me to go online (at 89 IT is not his strong suit) all the tickets had gone. At these kind of prices it's a miracle - seating at the Oval can be pretty basic and you're really exposed to the elements (a scorching day in the Peter May stand with no sun hat would test a desert-hardened Legionnaire) - and they are pricing out established customers, and discouraging the kind of father/son days out that inculcated a life-long love of cricket in me. Two days out at Lords costs us around £200 - not small change in anyone's book, but a positive bargain compared to Surrey.

  • Peter on January 22, 2008, 17:15 GMT

    £100 for a ODI is an absolutely ludicrous price and one that will price a lot of keen supporters away from England games. At these prices it is prohibitive for say a father to take his son and in the end cricket will be the loser and Mr Blanchard will be wiping off the smirk he probably has across his face now as he surveys his takings.

    I for one wouldn't pay it both because of t he price and the bare faced arrogance of Mr Blanchard. He must be living on another planet!

  • Bobby on January 22, 2008, 16:40 GMT

    Blanchard, can you find any positive feedback amongst all these comments? When was the last time the public reacted positively to a price increase for anything? Never. You can't say it's okay to increase ticket prices because a few wealthy folk are too slow to go and buy their tickets when they are announced then complain that they are too cheap. People that take time to register here and post comments are amongst the true lovers of the game, not the few who have a few extra quid to throw around on expensive tickets and an extra few quid to throw on the booze at the game. "No negative feedback" - how ignorant can one get.

  • David on January 22, 2008, 13:10 GMT

    I am a Kiwi living in England and those prices are extortionate!! The prices at Lords are still reasonable considering it's the spiritual home of cricket but £100 at the oval takes it out of the realms of the majority. Rising ticket prices most hurt families who want to see matches and kids who want to see their heroes in the flesh. Surely this is where the game's priorities should lie?

  • Will on January 22, 2008, 12:54 GMT

    Prav_2876: The problem is that games sell out (go with me on this...) In England most games (Test & OD) sell out, and not just when Asian teams visit. When India toured last summer there were few India fans at the test matches and they still pretty much all sold out (Sadly, where else in the world does this still happen?) So every year the grounds add another £10 on to the ticket price and the games still sell. I go to games with a few mates, so I'm only paying for my own ticket - if I had a family to take, a day out at the Cricket would cost a fortune.

  • Ryan on January 22, 2008, 11:16 GMT

    Thats one heck of price to pay! Its a sad day but so long as people are willing to pay that price then demand will see them remain in place no matter how much we protest. You would think they might have leaned some lessons from the debarcle at the World Cup where the locals were priced out of attendance. Thankfully our cricket prices in NZ are still reasonable but rugby is another story

  • Lance on January 22, 2008, 10:09 GMT

    Let's see - I could spend £150 on a Sussex membership and have an entire summer of four-day championship matches seeing if my team can go for three-in-a-row, plus numerous one-dayers at beautiful grounds such as Arundel and Horsham. Or, I could spend £103 on watching two so-so one-day teams play for one day. Hmmm, really not sure - perhaps if the Oval put their prices up a touch I'd go for the latter...

  • John on January 22, 2008, 1:00 GMT

    "People ring us and accuse us of not charging enough because they have not been able to get the tickets."

    Surely these are the sort of elitist snobs you don't really want at the games? If cricket's meant to be a game the public want to see, charging three figure sums for tickets really isn't the way to go about it.

  • Alamgir on January 22, 2008, 0:19 GMT

    I think the comments made about the prices will continue to rise just due to demand is absloutly ludacris. So some people can't get tickets quick enough the situation isn't just put the price up so the people who can't afford it won't buy tickets, the who can will, and we'll make more money at the same time. Maybe start by looking at the grounds and if they have enough capicity to fufill the customers needs. Lords, home of cricket, just beats the smallest Austalian ground capicity with 28 000 to the WACA's 26k, other than that none are higher than 23k. The only money I'll be spending on watching cricket this year is to Sky - and i can bring as many banners and hooters as I like!

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