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How much do you spend when you go to watch football? Traditionally this has been a fairly simple calculation that you can do right at the beginning of the season when ticket prices and bandings are announced.

Depending on who you support, you know in advance whether your ticket will be £20, £30 or £40. But of course money is tight at the moment.

Expensive TicketsWhile inflation is currently at a fairly low 2.2%, the recent BBC Sport ‘Price of Football’ Survey 2012 indicated that on average ticket prices had risen by nearly 12% in the last 12 months.

So with prices rising nearly six times faster than those of other goods and services, fans are now having to seriously consider whether they can still afford to go to as many games as they did previously.

The knock-on effect on clubs that rely most on money coming in through the turnstile (typically lower down the league pyramid) can therefore be serious.

Dynamic Ticket Pricing

Chicago White Sox Dynamic PricingBut in adversity there can be opportunity, and some clubs have started to be more creative in the way they sell tickets.

Firstly, clubs like Derby County and Cardiff City have introduced Dynamic Ticket Pricing (‘DTP’) this season. In a nutshell, when tickets for a match first go on sale they start out at a relatively low price. As time progresses and demand rises the price may subsequently increase, or even fall further if demand is particularly low.

So in theory you could have the seat next to someone in the stands and the two of you could have paid completely different prices. This may seem inherently wrong, two customers being charged different prices for the same product, but consider train travel.

Everyone knows that the earlier you book the cheaper it is, so you could easily be sat next to someone on the train who paid a lot more for their ticket by buying it on the day. Similar systems work for plane fares, hotels and holidays too. DTP has been used successfully in US sports already, so if fans support it then it can work.

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The second different way of selling tickets is by offering discounts for bulk purchases through a site like Groupon.

The logic here is fairly simple – if a club isn’t selling out its home games, then not only can extra money be generated from ticket, merchandise and food sales, but there is also the possibility of creating new fans who wouldn’t ordinarily attend.

The potential downside seems to come from the fans – I know a Crystal Palace fan who hates the fact the club offers Groupon deals as it makes them “a joke club”.

But if selling tickets in this way (or via DTP) can boost attendances and help to balance the books, would it not be a “joke club” that ignores this?

Post written by Jamie Richards
Blog: Over The Moon, Brian, Twitter: @Overthemoonblog

Related Post: Derby County: Attendances continue to slip at Pride Park

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