West Ham owners now admit they made a mistake

West Ham’s decision to relocate to the former London 2012 Olympic Stadium in 2016 has been acknowledged by the club’s owners as a blunder in terms of their ticket price plan.

Concerned about the possibility of filling the stadium, which had a capacity of 52,500 at the time, they made the decision to offer up to 50,000 season tickets at a discounted price. Adult tickets were priced as low as £289, while junior tickets were available for £99. Season ticket costs at the Boleyn Ground decreased for many individuals compared to the previous season.

The modifications consisted of introducing a fresh Band 5 season ticket priced at £289, which corresponds to a cost of £15.20 per game, as well as an under-16 season ticket priced at £99.

The prices of adult season tickets in Bands 1 and 2 experienced a minor decrease for the 2016-17 season, with prices now at £899 and £799 respectively. On the other hand, the prices of season tickets in Bands 3 and 4 decreased by over 25%, now priced at £599 and £499 respectively.
Season tickets for disabled individuals were also reduced, with the number of available seats in Band 4 decreasing by around 45 percent to a price of £250.

They effectively promoted this as ‘cheap football for families’ and referred to all those who initially registered as founders.

Increasing the number of season ticket holders at the Boleyn Ground from 26,000 to nearly double was a significant accomplishment. This was mostly achieved through an effective pricing strategy, resulting in a remarkable waiting list of 50,000 people.

What is the cost? Their understanding was incorrect.
The issue with hindsight was that our pricing plan placed us at a significant disadvantage compared to other London Premier League clubs that we aspired to rival.

During the inaugural year of the London Stadium, the Hammers generated a revenue of £28.6m from ticket sales, representing a modest 6% growth compared to the £26.9m they earned at their previous venue, the 34,000 capacity Upton Park stadium, in the preceding season.

In the previous season, West Ham’s ticket sales increased to £41m mostly as a result of our participation in the Europa League Conference cup, which led to a higher number of home games.

Spurs earned £106m in ticket income in their latest reported finances, while Arsenal made £103m and Chelsea earned £76.5m, despite having a smaller stadium with a capacity of 40,000. In comparison, we earned only £41m.

West Ham must address the income deficit in order to remain competitive and comply with financial fair play requirements. However, achieving this goal without increasing ticket prices while still ensuring affordable football for families is a challenging task.

Price increases are generally unpopular, but it is an unfortunate fact that if we wish to allocate more funds to the transfer market, we must obtain the necessary resources from elsewhere.

West Ham discontinued their “founder discount pricing” for season tickets last season. However, this upcoming season, they are implementing price increases that exceed the inflation rate. Additionally, they are limiting concession discounts for the most expensive ticket categories. The club is also taking a stricter approach towards fans who do not attend matches or fail to relist their seats.

As a fan base, we must determine whether we are willing to increase ticket prices in order to rival the top six teams and consistently contend for European competitions, or if we prefer to have lower ticket prices and be satisfied with escaping relegation each year, potentially settling for a mediocre position in the league.

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