Well, yesterday I had a chat with a few friends about organising to go and watch the Wallabies play this year during the annual Tri Nations series. That was, until I reviewed the ticket prices!
Now, I’ve defended the pricing for a number of years, since it (can be) a high quality event, especially the Australia v New Zealand. However, we can’t forget the disgraceful 2006 Wallabies vs. Springboks game which could be recorded as the worst game of rugby in the modern era (I am worse financially and emotionally from attending this blight of a game).
Ticket pricing this year is simply outrageous! I personally hope that no one attends a game. Why would you pay $89 or more per person for crappy seats? Gold reserve seats, clocking in at around $150 per person are not much better than Silver, which are not much better than Bronze (which are the worst seats in the house).
Take Brisbane, for example.
Platinum reserve ($189 per person) occupy all the sideline to sideline seats (except the nosebleed sections or stadium member seating). Gold reserve gets the upper fringe seats (on an angle to the field).
Every other seat is a goal line facing seat, this is Silver (except some nosebleed seats) and the two Bronze categories (the two bronze categories oddly the same price, the difference being alcohol and non-alcohol).
Gold seats (the tickets we normally purchase) are an astounding $159 per person… wtf!
That’s over $300 (or ten new release DVDs) for two people! Sorry, but in a non-world cup year that’s simply *unacceptable*.
Corporate boxes and "stadium member seats" have reduced the available public release ticket volume, and the prices have skyrocketed.
A family of four, who want to actually "see" the game, haven’t got a hope. When the cheapest tickets are $89 in the "good luck seeing anything" area, you have a problem.
Now why would I pay all that money when I can sit in the comfort of my own home with my high definition 40" LCD and watch for free (Wallaby games are telecasted live in high definition on free-to-air) and I can mute the stupid biased commentary to boot.
Also, I can serve myself top quality food and drink and not have to deal with thousands of people and the ensuing transport nightmare (not to mention the security screening process and insulting high priced, low quality venue food).
If the game is a stinker (and there have been plenty), its cost me virtually nothing. If I’ve paid $300, I begin to feel that I’ve been ripped off.
Now tell me why I’d blow $300 for the wife and I to go through the hassles normally associated with live venue events?
Forget it; you can keep the overpriced tickets.
Do yourself a favour, if you’re keen on Rugby, go and buy a ticket to the Super 14s instead.
ARU: Get your act together. The telecast rights and advertising revenue should be more than enough so keep the ticket prices reasonable.
If the ARU feels arrogant enough to keep prices unreasonable (and the product quality waning) then they deserve to lose their market share to AFL and Rugby League.