Ipswich Town defend ticket prices after BBC study shows Portman Road is one of the most expensive stadiums to watch football in the Championship

Portman Road

Portman Road - Credit: Ashley Pickering

Ipswich Town have today defended their ticket prices after a study showed that Portman Road is one of the most expensive stadiums to watch football in the Championship.

The BBC’s annual ‘Price of Football’ study has been running since 2011 and looks in-depth at the cost of attending matches across the Premier League and Football League.

Town are at the bottom of the second-tier charts for ‘cheapest match day’ (£38.60), while only three clubs in the division – Brighton, Newcastle and Norwich – are below them when it comes to ‘cheapest season ticket’ (£417).

The ‘most popular ticket sold’ at Portman Road is an advance purchase for a seat in any of the lower tiers at £27. Eighteen of the 24 clubs in the Championship sell the majority of their tickets in the £21-30 bracket.

Ipswich had the joint-best home record in the league when they finished sixth in 2014/15, picking up around 1,000 extra season ticket holders. A similar number of supporters chose not to renew their season tickets this summer though, with many feeling there has not been enough entertainment value at Portman Road during a forgettable 2016.

A club spokesperson said: “We have frozen match day ticket prices for the last four years and our season ticket prices in that time have gone up by only 1.7% on average.

“We have maintained an Under-11s season ticket price at just £10 for the last nine years, which compares favourably with any professional club in British football.

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“We have also introduced a ‘Pick 6/Pick 12’ match ticket bundle that provides a cheaper rate than buying tickets game by game.

“As well as providing promotional offers to season ticket holders – these include saving money on additional match tickets – for the 2016/17 season, we have introduced a new partnership scheme with local companies with season ticket holders able to get significant discounts on a range of goods and services.

“Having said that, we are taking a detailed look at our whole ticket operation. This obviously includes pricing but also new initiatives, reward schemes for season ticket holders and how to cater for any increase in away fans looking to come to Portman Road. This is a big venture for us and significant discussions have already taken place. They will continue to take place and we will be canvassing opinions from supporters.”

Liz Edwards, chair of the Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club, said: “We can’t speak for everybody, but we get a general sense of the mood and we don’t think people are as unhappy with season ticket prices as the survey might lead you to think.

“The club offers a 12 month interest free direct debit scheme, they are more generous with OAP pricing than most clubs (age 60 and above instead of 65), while there are reduced prices for 16-20 year olds and full-time students.

“You could say that they are solid Championship prices that match solid Championship results and performances.

“The thing that has been most contentious for years is the additional £2.50 that is charged for those that buy on the day. It might not sound a lot, but it seems to disincentive regulars from bringing friends to the game.”

What do you think? Are Ipswich Town’s ticket prices fair? E-mail: sport@eadt.co.uk