Boreham Wood have not endeared themselves to Lincoln City fans by setting the ticket price at £18 for our upcoming FA Trophy clash. As a paying fan it seems a grotesque amount for watching a Lincoln 2nd XI take on a part time team.
However, I also saw an argument against Burnley for setting their ticket prices at £10 for the FA Cup clash, thus depriving us of money through 50% of the gate receipts. It seems to me those who support both causes are arguing the same point two different ways.
Yes, Boreham Wood have scored an own-goal. Our match might be the FA Trophy quarter final, but it is also in a week where we travel to both Burnley and nearby North Ferriby. After two away trips in a week, surely the only thing to attract all-but the die hard fans would be cheap tickets?
Essentially that isn’t Boreham Wood’s problem, and they simply see that we travel in numbers and are looking to cash in. It might not be the right thing to do morally, but as a part time team they want to make the most of their clash with a big side.
With regard to Burnley, they doubtless want to attract home fans to Turf Moor when we go there, and by setting the tickets at £10 they are more likely to do so. Once again they don’t owe Lincoln City anything, and they’ve set their prices as they see fit. Personally I don’t see an issue, with £275,000 coming in from the TV deal, missing out on the gate revenue isn’t such a terrible thing. Besides, it’s not like they’re letting fans in for free, we will still get paid more than if we’d been drawn at home.
I suspect very few will make the trip to Boreham Wood, it’s certainly one I’m going to miss given the Burnley and North Ferriby trips. I don’t think £10 tickets would have made a great amount of difference either, maybe an extra 30 or 40 might have gone. The ticket price is more or less irrelevant as three away games in a week is well beyond the reach of all but the most affluent of Lincoln fan.
I didn’t hear Altrincham or Guiseley complaining when we set our prices at £10 in rounds one and two of the FA Cup. Those two teams probably saw Lincoln away as a big draw and a chance to earn some money, but by putting prices at £10 we are merely doing what people perceive Burnley are doing to us.
In truth Burnley aren’t doing us out of anything, and we didn’t make Altrincham or Guiseley lose out. A £10 ticket might not swell the coffers of a visiting club as much, but it is set at that rate to appeal to more fans. Nobody can argue that giving fans the opportunity to watch their team at an affordable price is a bad thing can they? On October 22nd we played Eastleigh in front of 3180 fans in a league match, yet the pricing structure for the Altrincham game pushed the attendance up to 3529 – that dropped off again a week later when Aldershot visited to 3461.
As yet I can’t give an indication of what effect ticket prices have on the FA Trophy games at Sincil Bank, because we haven’t been privy to a home draw this season. Should we beat Boreham Wood in front of the hardy few willing to splash out best part of £20 on a ticket, then we will at least be assured of one match at home, as the semi-finals are two legged affairs.