The 2011 Champions League Final tickets prices have been announced and have caused something of an uproar. Many fans are unhappy with the fact that these tickets will be the most expensive Champions League Final tickets ever, costing up to £326 each. Should Spurs defeat the odds and reach the Wembley final, our fans could have to pay a fee that is the equivalent to half a season ticket at White Hart Lane.
The cheapest, category four tickets for the match will only be available through the clubs and will start at £80. Category three tickets cost £150, category two tickets are £225 and category one tickets are £300 each. To top things off, there is a £26 administration fee to add on to every ticket. There is no question that these prices are extremely high and many people will begrudge paying that sort of money, but there is a precedent for this level of pricing.
Firstly, it would be harsh to only criticise UEFA for these prices, as other major events charge similar or higher prices for their tickets. For example, it costs £129 for the cheapest adult general admission ticket for the 2011 British Grand Prix. A ticket for Centre Court on men’s final day costs £110 at Wimbledon. UEFA also claim the price is equivalent to what fans can expect to pay for Euro 2012 tickets.
The Champions League Final is a spectacle where you will see the two best teams in Europe playing against each other and for that, a price will always have to be paid. I think a big problem people have and justifiably so, is the fact that only two years ago in Rome, when Barcelona defeated Manchester United in the final, the category three tickets were priced at £80 and not £150. That is a major increase in such a short space of time and could be a worry for what’s in store in another couple of years. However, does this simply reflect the growing spectacle that is the UEFA Champions League?
My main issue with the tickets for this final and many other finals in football, is the fact that many of the real fans of the finalists will miss out on this momentous occasion. Wembley holds 90,000 fans and yet both teams will only be allocated 25,000 tickets each. This means that 40,000 tickets will be used up by officials and those from a corporate background, which I honestly find wrong. 11,000 of the tickets will go to the general public, but shouldn’t these be split 50/50 so that the season ticket holders of the two clubs have another 5,500 chances of getting a ticket for the game?
Eddie Smith is a sports writer who blogs about football shirts.