Find out how Ipswich Town fared in the BBC Price of Football survey 2017

Portman Road. Photo: Archant

Portman Road. Photo: Archant - Credit: Ashley Pickering

Ipswich Town supporters are paying above average Championship prices to watch football at Portman Road, the annual BBC ‘Price of Football’ survey has revealed.

Results show that, on average, it cost Town fans £13.90 to see their team score at Portman Road last season – the worst ratio of all current second-tier clubs.

The Blues responded to a forgettable campaign by controversially raising adult season ticket prices by 1.5 per cent. The result was a decrease of around 2,000 sales, with the current figure around the 10,000-10,500 mark.

Just 14,390 were in attendance for the recent 3-0 home win over Preston.

• IN FULL: How Ipswich compares in the BBC Price of Football survey

Here are the key points from the survey:

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• Town’s cheapest adult season ticket of £423 (lower tiers) is the third most expensive in the Championship, with only Sheffield Wednesday (£455) and Norwich City (£499.50) pricing their cheapest seat higher.

• Town’s most expensive season ticket is £842 (a small number of seats on the halfway line). Only Norwich (£856.50) and Fulham (£929) offer something more expensive.

• MAY: Drop in season ticket sales costs Town around £1m

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• Town dropped their cheapest adult matchday prices from £30 to £25 this season. Only Leeds (£26) and Middlesbrough (£27) are more expensive in that category though, with the average across the division down to £20.58.

• The survey shows that the average price of an away ticket in the Championship is the highest across any division in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In the summer, Town wrote to the other Championship clubs to try to arrange a reciprocal price cap of £25 on away match tickets. It’s understood 13 clubs agreed, the likes of Norwich, Leeds, QPR and Middlesbrough rejected, while some are still considering.

• MARCH: ‘Never have I felt so disillusioned’ – Town fans react angrily to season ticket price hike

• A poll of 1,000 young adult fans across the country found ticket prices were an obstacle to four in five of them attending more regularly.

Town, keen to attract a new generation of fans, introduced a new concession for supporters aged under-23 for this season (only eight Championship clubs offer this), while the previous under-16s price band is now available to under-19s. The family friendly ‘Fan Zone’ on the field turf remains popular.

•Town’s U23 season ticket (£230) is still the eighth highest priced for ‘young adults’ in the Championship though, while the matchday price for that age band (£15) is the joint-sixth highest.

• MARCH: Town MD says it is ‘not reasonable’ to expect the owner not to raise prices

• Ipswich do carry a number of ticket deals for specific games throughout the season. Next Wednesday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday (on Sky TV) is priced at £15 for adults in all areas of the ground. The visit of Nottingham Forest on Saturday, December 2 will be the first of two or three games where season ticket holders can bring up to four adult friends for £10 each (concessions cheaper).

• The Blues also offer flexible six, eight and 10 game ticket bundles that work out slightly more expensive than season tickets, but cheaper than buying the equivalent number of match tickets.

Town managing director Ian Milne said: “One of the biggest things highlighted by the survey was how young people are being priced out of watching football. That’s something we as a club have long been concerned about and tried to address in the summer by changing the youth age bands.

“It’s important to get young people out of their homes and out in the fresh air, ideally participating in sport but also watching it live too. That’s a society issue.

“The club did its best with the pricing for the younger age groups over the summer, to try and help those coming out of college and university, and I believe we are ahead on that issue compared to a lot of other clubs. The results are there to judge us on.

“The Fan Zone and our increased community engagement has helped and our early research into ticket sales this season shows that we have bene able to retain our young supporters and that we are starting to see an increase in that area.

“The slight increase in season ticket prices wasn’t right, hence why we decided to bring in more attractive matchday prices. We’re not going to rest on our laurels either and will continue to review prices.

“Every area of the country has its own specific issues to consider when it comes to pricing and we will continue to try and be as competitive as possible.”

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