UEFA president Michel Platini has admitted the pricing structure for the 2011 Champions League final was “a mistake”. European football’s governing body has dropped prices for the 2012 final after meeting with Football Supporters Europe (FSE), the body which represents fans across the continent. The Football Supporters’ Federation is an affiliated member of FSE.
The decision was welcomed by FSE executive committee member Kevin Miles, who also handles international affairs for the FSF. “They didn’t just ask our opinion but actually took on board what we said and acted. When it comes to ticket prices it’s the first time I can remember an organisation as a big as UEFA doing that. It’s a step in the right direction,” said Miles.
UEFA has listened to fans’ concerns about more than just prices too. Platini and co also acted upon FSE’s representations regarding ticket allocations. This means more of the most loyal supporters will be able to obtain tickets in the cheapest category, the first 10 rows directly behind each goal.
Prices for the 2011 Champions League final were enough to make many fans’ eyes water. While some £80 tickets were available to Manchester United and Barcelona fans the cheapest general sale tickets came in at £150. Family tickets for one adult and one child were priced at £338. All tickets were also subject to a £26 admin fee.
The cheapest tickets for the 2012 final in Munich, Germany, will cost €70 which is £59 at today’s exchange rate. General sale tickets will also be available at this Category Four price which wasn’t the case in 2011. The family ticket, made up of one adult and one child, will now cost €140 (£117) which is a very significant reduction on last season’s pricing structure. The admin fee has also been reduced to €20 (£17).
FSE convinced UEFA that Category Four ticket prices should be reduced and one way to do this would be to up the price of Category One tickets. This “price stretching” means that those who can afford to pay the most expensive prices subsidise fans who might not have been able to afford tickets at 2011 prices.
In total 42,000 tickets – two-thirds of the stadium’s 62,500 capacity for the final – will go on sale to the general public. The majority of those go to the two finalists with each receiving 17,500 tickets. The remaining tickets are allocated to the local organising committee, UEFA’s 53 national football associations, and commercial and broadcast partners.
FSE said they made representations to UEFA on the issue of corporate tickets allocations but, in the end, had to accept the reality of modern football. The Champions League final is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet and the corporate appetite for tickets is huge. In that context Miles said UEFA had set aside a “relatively modest” amount of VIP packages.
“If you look at how UEFA’s member associations [i.e. national FAs] often distribute their own corporate tickets, the amount given away for corporate use for the Champions League final is relatively modest,” said Miles. “The cheapest ticket is still expensive but this is a Champions League final.”
UEFA’s showcase match takes place this year on Saturday 19th May at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. Tickets are on general sale until Friday 16th March.
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