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

Oval tickets top £100

Cricinfo staff
31



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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Comments have now been closed for this article

  • karma1police 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.

  • Dragon129 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.

  • greenbag 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!

  • ball-tamperer 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.

  • DavoNZ 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?

  • wigs666 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.

  • TullyB 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

  • LanceB 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_Firth 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.

  • alam88 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!

  • karma1police 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.

  • Dragon129 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.

  • greenbag 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!

  • ball-tamperer 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.

  • DavoNZ 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?

  • wigs666 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.

  • TullyB 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

  • LanceB 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_Firth 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.

  • alam88 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!

  • tutul on January 21, 2008, 23:37 GMT

    I have been to Oval many times. In fact standard of one day cricket to be played between two minos of one day cricket ( England & Newzeland) is not worth even £50.00 Probably it will rain as it does most of early cricket season in England. I cann't justify £100 per ticket. Are SCC selling tickets to the touts to be sold back on e-bay? Most of these premium ticket holders usually go there for feasting and spend most of the day in Bar and Restaurants for extended lunch and ask person next when they arrive on their seat which team is playing!! Good luck to those who are buying these tickets.

  • Harvey on January 21, 2008, 23:20 GMT

    With these ticket prices, it's mall wonder that so many England fans are now opting to travel overseas to watch England play abroad instead of attending home games. Even with the cost of flights and digs, it usually works out cheaper. In fact, despite The Oval making the headlines for its £100 top-priced tickets, the real scandal is at Edgbaston, where the CHEAPEST tickets for the international matches this year (Test and ODI) are an outrageous £55.

  • redneck on January 21, 2008, 22:51 GMT

    when ever the poms come down under we always hear them say the probelm is cricket isnt getting played in public schools and is becoming more and more a game for the upper class' well pricing tickets at over 100 pounds aint gonna help bring the game to the people!

  • JosRoberts on January 21, 2008, 21:50 GMT

    Trouble is, there are enough suckers (especially in London) who will pay this, and thus the management at the Oval will turn around and say "look, we were right". I'm going to the last 2 days of the Trent Bridge test this year (ticket price £30 for both days) but there's no way I could afford any of the other days, and I obviously have no guarantees of actually seeing any play. Quite frankly, it's a disgrace.

    As some of the commentators below have said, cricket's going the way of kissball, and we really don't want to see that, do we?

  • prav_2876 on January 21, 2008, 19:24 GMT

    I would like to say that how can a cricket fanatic earning £100 GBP per week can come out and watch a match in the ground. I dont think any one of the fans would send email and ask how are the prices so low. When a asian team visits and the stadium is full but none of the other matches are so full. So i would say its too much high price and the prices need to be cut down.

  • Langoustine on January 21, 2008, 18:25 GMT

    I think Blanchard's comments are grotesque, not to mention ill-advised. Customers are often happy to be treated like idiots. However they do not like being told they are being treated like idiots. I appreciate that cricket is now a commerical venture, but the game must be careful that it doesn't sell its soul down the river in pursuit of fiscal reward. Adherance to the business mantra that you charge people what they are prepared to pay will lead to stadiums full of the corporate jolly brigade, while the real fans - the ones who take their kids and spread the gospel to the next generation - will be lost forever. There are plenty of talented business people involved in the running of the game today, but a corking balance sheet is not always the measure of a game in rude health. The authorities must tread very, very carefully. One only needs to watch a Premiership football match played in a half empty stadium to see what lies in store. My ticket for the Oval this year will be returned.

  • themightyred on January 21, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    Its simple - go to NZ to watch the cricket. Ticket for the best seats in the house at all 5 ODI's are $40 NZD, or about £15, the tests are as cheap, 5 days at the test (if the English boys will last that long) for $100 NZD, or about £40. Happy travels!

  • edpt35 on January 21, 2008, 17:17 GMT

    Would love to see some proof from Mr. Blanchard - can´t imagine anyone in their right mind would have bothered to ring and say it was too cheap. 100 pounds for a one day game is a farce, typical of the way cricket is going in the UK, only affordable for the very safe middle class high earner, can´t imagine there´ll be too many pensioners going to the Oval this year. Mind you, with the ban on bringing your own (decent) alcohol and then getting charged absurdities for wine, (watered)beer or anything else within the stadium walls, not sure the old fans are particularly bothered any more. Goodness, I yearn for the days when England were truly awful, you bought a ticket on the gate and still had a great laugh due to the real cross section of society at cricket. Enough bleating, suggest those who don´t like the price go and watch some county cricket, it could do with a boost.

  • Hitesh_DeVilliers on January 21, 2008, 17:04 GMT

    This just shows how Cricket has become a big profiting industry.Surrey Cricket Club and the ECB are getting so much income from their broadcasting deals with SKY and other international partners.So why are they charging GBP100 for tickets.The ICC has to intervene in this I feel because it is just to expensive for the common man.I have been planning to go to a test match at the Oval and seeing such expensive prices makes me thinks twice.The ECB are only looking at their own profits and not the income of the common man.This is simply not acceptable.How could they even say people don't find it expensive?All just rubbish.

  • JustAnotherFan on January 21, 2008, 16:57 GMT

    Let us all, who are the middle class cricket fans and can't afford to loose £100 to see an ODI, boycott Oval this year in protest against this exorbitant ticket price.

  • Flymogram on January 21, 2008, 16:55 GMT

    Is this man Blanchard for real?! People are phoning him saying that prices are too high!! I have never heard such a load of tosh in my life. I agree that prices are becoming out of control. Cricket is a people's game, and with the ECB selling out to Sky and ticket prices on the increase like this, ot's being taken away from thousands of cricket lovers in this country. It's a complete sham.

  • asianinvasion on January 21, 2008, 15:22 GMT

    I think it is scandelous that the oval can justify charging £100+ for a ticket, are we following football? These crazy prices will deter most of the paying public from going when the opposite should be done to attract people to the game.Twenty 20 has made in roads to popularise the game these prices will have the opposite effect.

  • Wanderer114 on January 21, 2008, 15:19 GMT

    I think ticket prices have got completely out of hand in this country, to the point where, even allowing for the air far, it's cheaper for me to go and watch a five-day test match in Cape Town than to go to the Oval for five days. I thought the idea was to open up cricket's appeal more widely, not to make it the elitist preserve of the well off.

  • CricketingStargazer on January 21, 2008, 15:07 GMT

    100GBP sounds like a lot to me. It's a lot more than, for example, the best seats at "The Sound of Music". I agree with those who say that they would need to be very enthusiastic both about England and the opposition that is on show (and I say that as someone who attended Sri Lanka's first Test in England when they were regarded as no-hopers).

  • bobbingcourtcc on January 21, 2008, 13:49 GMT

    Must agree with not_that-andrewhall, but for slightly different reasons. £103 is a lot of money to pay to risk sitting next to an idiot one side of you dressed as Superman, and a complete cretin the other side of you dressed as an orange, in a desperate attempt to get noticed by Sky TV, who seem obsessed with giving these morons the oxygen of publicity that they crave. "Cricket, what cricket? I'm not here for that, I'm here to be noticed! Me, me, me!" This is the reality of modern Britain, and yes I know, I am a grumpy, middle aged spoilsport. So be it.

  • Bull_Leaper on January 21, 2008, 13:27 GMT

    "People ring us up and accuse of not charging enough ..." By this logic you argue that it is your duty to increase prices until a point is reached where only 20000 rich people can get into the ground. I take it Surrey don't think English cricket is elitist enough yet.

    I think I'll give the Oval a miss from now on (despite being able to afford the prices)

  • DrSeussXI on January 21, 2008, 13:01 GMT

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

    Is Mr Blanchard living in cloud cuckoo land?

    Who has ever met anyone who complains that tickets are not expensive enough?

    Thank goodness I got my 2008 20:20 final ticket at a reasonable £48.

  • shahid on January 21, 2008, 12:35 GMT

    The problem in england is the small grounds. If we combine the capacity of all the test centres in England, it will still not exceed the entire crowd capacity of MCG or Eden gardens. Because of less crowd capacity and higher demand for tickets lead to higher ticket prices in the end. Its so disappointing that international cricket has been played in this country for over 100 years but still the average capacity for all the centres is 15000. The biggest looser will be the working class, who simply cant afford that. I would prefer to buy three tickets for manchester united matches and that will cost me less than 100 pounds.

  • 200ondebut on January 21, 2008, 12:26 GMT

    I would like to congratulate Surrey on pricing their tickets close to what the market will pay. Hopefully this way the price people are willing to pay to watch international cricket in this country will go into the sports coffers and not the touts back pocket. As a punter all we ask in return is that at least some of it is put back into the spectator experience.

  • captainjamieuk on January 21, 2008, 12:09 GMT

    £100 just to watch a cricket match? For one person? Against New Zealand?

    It's bad enough that the ICC is hell bent on screwing the paying *customer* (note that word here Paul) by restricting what they can wear and take in to the ground lest it risk offending the ICC's sponsors.

    Now the venue grounds are starting to get in on the act as well. There's an awful lot I and most others could do with £100 that's better and more fun than watching two teams which haven't set the world ablaze in recent times.

    You need to remember that the highest compliment anyone can pay is to spend their hard earned money to come to your venue and watch something you put on. I may well have some spare time this summer but I won't be spending it (and the £100) at the Oval.

  • not_that_andrewhall on January 21, 2008, 11:09 GMT

    Sorry Mr Blanchard, here's some negative feedback as requested. While the Oval is a great ground and always an excellent day out, anything over £50/£60 makes me think twice and consider the likely quality of cricket on offer. England have been poor in ODIs in recent times, and New Zealand hardly set the pulse racing. I'll pass this year, but I imagine the huge catchment area the Oval has will carry it through.

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  • not_that_andrewhall on January 21, 2008, 11:09 GMT

    Sorry Mr Blanchard, here's some negative feedback as requested. While the Oval is a great ground and always an excellent day out, anything over £50/£60 makes me think twice and consider the likely quality of cricket on offer. England have been poor in ODIs in recent times, and New Zealand hardly set the pulse racing. I'll pass this year, but I imagine the huge catchment area the Oval has will carry it through.

  • captainjamieuk on January 21, 2008, 12:09 GMT

    £100 just to watch a cricket match? For one person? Against New Zealand?

    It's bad enough that the ICC is hell bent on screwing the paying *customer* (note that word here Paul) by restricting what they can wear and take in to the ground lest it risk offending the ICC's sponsors.

    Now the venue grounds are starting to get in on the act as well. There's an awful lot I and most others could do with £100 that's better and more fun than watching two teams which haven't set the world ablaze in recent times.

    You need to remember that the highest compliment anyone can pay is to spend their hard earned money to come to your venue and watch something you put on. I may well have some spare time this summer but I won't be spending it (and the £100) at the Oval.

  • 200ondebut on January 21, 2008, 12:26 GMT

    I would like to congratulate Surrey on pricing their tickets close to what the market will pay. Hopefully this way the price people are willing to pay to watch international cricket in this country will go into the sports coffers and not the touts back pocket. As a punter all we ask in return is that at least some of it is put back into the spectator experience.

  • shahid on January 21, 2008, 12:35 GMT

    The problem in england is the small grounds. If we combine the capacity of all the test centres in England, it will still not exceed the entire crowd capacity of MCG or Eden gardens. Because of less crowd capacity and higher demand for tickets lead to higher ticket prices in the end. Its so disappointing that international cricket has been played in this country for over 100 years but still the average capacity for all the centres is 15000. The biggest looser will be the working class, who simply cant afford that. I would prefer to buy three tickets for manchester united matches and that will cost me less than 100 pounds.

  • DrSeussXI on January 21, 2008, 13:01 GMT

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

    Is Mr Blanchard living in cloud cuckoo land?

    Who has ever met anyone who complains that tickets are not expensive enough?

    Thank goodness I got my 2008 20:20 final ticket at a reasonable £48.

  • Bull_Leaper on January 21, 2008, 13:27 GMT

    "People ring us up and accuse of not charging enough ..." By this logic you argue that it is your duty to increase prices until a point is reached where only 20000 rich people can get into the ground. I take it Surrey don't think English cricket is elitist enough yet.

    I think I'll give the Oval a miss from now on (despite being able to afford the prices)

  • bobbingcourtcc on January 21, 2008, 13:49 GMT

    Must agree with not_that-andrewhall, but for slightly different reasons. £103 is a lot of money to pay to risk sitting next to an idiot one side of you dressed as Superman, and a complete cretin the other side of you dressed as an orange, in a desperate attempt to get noticed by Sky TV, who seem obsessed with giving these morons the oxygen of publicity that they crave. "Cricket, what cricket? I'm not here for that, I'm here to be noticed! Me, me, me!" This is the reality of modern Britain, and yes I know, I am a grumpy, middle aged spoilsport. So be it.

  • CricketingStargazer on January 21, 2008, 15:07 GMT

    100GBP sounds like a lot to me. It's a lot more than, for example, the best seats at "The Sound of Music". I agree with those who say that they would need to be very enthusiastic both about England and the opposition that is on show (and I say that as someone who attended Sri Lanka's first Test in England when they were regarded as no-hopers).

  • Wanderer114 on January 21, 2008, 15:19 GMT

    I think ticket prices have got completely out of hand in this country, to the point where, even allowing for the air far, it's cheaper for me to go and watch a five-day test match in Cape Town than to go to the Oval for five days. I thought the idea was to open up cricket's appeal more widely, not to make it the elitist preserve of the well off.

  • asianinvasion on January 21, 2008, 15:22 GMT

    I think it is scandelous that the oval can justify charging £100+ for a ticket, are we following football? These crazy prices will deter most of the paying public from going when the opposite should be done to attract people to the game.Twenty 20 has made in roads to popularise the game these prices will have the opposite effect.