YOUR VIEW: Fans have their say on Ipswich Town’s falling attendances

Ipswich Town supporters

Ipswich Town supporters

Tuesday’s EADT and Ipswich Star article exploring the reasons behind the 10-year decline in attendances at Portman Road sparked a lot of debate among Ipswich Town fans. Here are some of the e-mails and Tweets on the subject.

I would love to be able to go and watch Ipswich Town every home game as would thousands of others I suspect.

But it’s just way, way too expensive.

Please ask the club to STOP categorising games. The fans choose to pay to watch IPSWICH TOWN – not the opposition. It really does not matter if the opponents are Yeovil (24th) or Leicester (1st).

Regards,


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Nick Lingley

I enjoyed reading your article on the conundrum that is the mission to fill the stadium!

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Interestingly, I don’t think you do need to double the attendance if you halve the price in order to obtain the same income.

My guesstimate is that we already have circa 12,000 season ticket holders (a majority like myself having renewed on frozen prices for a number of years), an average away following of 1,000 at £30 per head which leaves circa 3,654 fans paying on a game-by-game basis to reach the current average of 16,654.

This, in my simple calculation, means that at present the club are generating an average of £109,620 per game based upon 3,654 x £30.

If this is the case, then all the club need to achieve to break even is £109,620 from match day customers.

If the club were to try the following then all we would need to make the same revenue on match day gate income would be:

1: At £20 per ticket (average) 5,481 fans through the gate (an extra 1,827 fans). 2. Buy two tickets at £60 and get one match free (an extra 1,827 fans).

By dropping the price down from £30 to £20 and getting at least an extra 1,827 fans into the ground this would also generate more income from programme sales, drinks and food and other merchandise. It would increase away following as well as home as it would be more affordable. It would increase the average attendance to 18,481. It would mean better match-day atmosphere and more support for the Tractor Boys.

The only negatives would be season ticket holders feeling hard done by. As most are on the frozen prices I don’t think this would have too much of an effect. And if for some reason this did not encourage the extra 1,827 fans through the door then the club would only be out of pocket, at most, by £36,540.

This is a straight forward solution with no frills attached. The price would tempt the casual fan and they might even spend the extra £10 in the ground anyway.

Surely this is worth considering in an attempt to boost our chances of hitting the top six?

Kind regards,

Andrew Laws

I’m going to give a few of my views on the Ipswich ticket prices article.

1) Scrap the category system. It might work in the Premiership when the big teams come to town and demand will outstrip availability, but in the Championship why should games be rated this way? I actually look at the cheaper games at present rather than who they are playing against. If it was a standard set price for every game, like the good old days, then it wouldn’t matter. Ticket demand will never outstrip availability in a 30,000 stadium, with Championship football and the current economic climate.

2) Having offers for friends of season tickets holders is great idea (my local club Gillingham FC have friends for £5, kids for a £1 etc) but for me I don’t know any season ticket holders at Ipswich as I don’t live locally, so how can they tempt me back to go to more games again?

3) Having to pay more on the day. This is probably what winds me up the most. Why should people pay more on the day? I might fancy a game at short notice on a Saturday and this is putting me off going full stop for that game. I don’t understand this mentality at all. I should be able to pay on the gate for the same price. Concerts / gigs don’t have this approach, if their are tickets still available they are still sold at the same price at the venue on the day of the gig. Likewise you wouldn’t buy a beer or meal in a pub in advance for cheaper than on the day so why should we for football?

Regards,

Geoff Arbin

I suggest that they scrap the categorising of games and also scrap the £2.50 increase on matchdays. Just think, when you are sitting at home and it’s pouring with rain are you going to go out get soaking wet and pay an extra £2.50 for the privilege?

Regards,

Roger Smith

Just read the ITFC ticket price debate. I used to go home and away for 10 years but since becoming a father to three kids you need to make cut backs. When possible I take my five-year-old son but can only do this when there are good deals, ie kids for £1.

When people say halve the prices and double the supporters will go watch – let’s be honest: a) ITFC would never do this, b) You will NOT get any extra 10,000 people attending, c) The club would make a loss.

For me you need to get familys going, ie kids for £1 or family of four for £40.

How about radio stations buying tickets and then giving them away via competitions? Possibly buy two tickets for two matches get one free? Last suggestion, £5 entry at half-time.

Kind regards,

Stuart Howell

Attendances are understandably down as we’ve been a decade in the Championship and, until Mick McCarthy and TC joined, we seemed to be in a perpetual decline. Our crowds are reasonable, relative to our league position, and when compared with many other clubs, such as Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Bolton (who have all been in the Premier League more recently). And our crowds are still higher than even the George Burley era in our pre-promotion years, despite economic times being much harder now.

But we must do more to attract fans. Of course having a winning and successful team will help. The club are giving thought to ticketing (we have had far fewer Cat A priced games this season than last, for example). The initiative to offer season tickets on zero-interest direct debit was welcomed by many and I hope we see similar inspiration when next year’s details are revealed.

As supporters club chair, I have been in continual contact with the club, passing on ideas about ticketing from fans throughout the season and informing ITFC of best practice elsewhere. Let’s hope next year we’ll continue our progress on the field and get fans back into the habit.

Regards,

Liz Edwards

TWITTER TALK

Whatever the situation a loyal fanbase always sticks by its club. Ipswich evidently don’t have that.

– @jamesnobbs

I think the main problem is the club’s image to casual fans. The club need a PR guru.

– @sjpfisher

The only ticket promotion that works (long term) is kids for a quid. It is football’s gateway drug.

– @PaulNut

Keane and Jewell are massive reasons. Not making the most of Marcus Evans’ millions. Add to that the moany Suffolk mentality.

– @schuieip2

Pretty simple. Nine years since last play-offs (assuming don’t get in this season) and dreadful stuff from last 2.5 managers.

– @Phil_Pritchard

Simple. Prices – and that’s football in general. Our last home game had the 4th highest in Championship on the day, even more than Brum v Derby.

– @fullerflavour

‘Casual fans’ are spoilt by the football on offer on TV. The exposure of top quality football affects attendances.

– @prickettboy3

A staggering lack of vision and creativity in price structures for me. World’s changed.

– @timnthat

Entertaining football would be a good place to start.

– @bryanharris1

I’m quick to criticise the club but my five and eight year old lads are hooked thanks to their £10 season tickets...poor buggers. #itfc

– @Olegend

The club has got to do more than the £5 saving incentive for the Wigan game....

– @marky–bar180

Had an ST at PR since 97/98 – this season is my last. Can no longer afford the excessive prices with a young family to support.

– @c_t_j85

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Leave your comments below.

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