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West Ham United set to freeze season ticket prices, still cheapest in EPL

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How does that compare to season tickets in the United States?

West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

West Ham United are expected to announce they will be freezing next year’s ticket prices. While this may not come as a surprise to many, it is nice to see the club listening to the pleas of various supporter clubs. The Hammers won’t be the first club to see ticket prices frozen, Manchester United have declined to increase prices for the previous seven seasons. Everton has also recently announced they will not be increasing ticket prices next year.

The key details for next season are as follows:

  • Every Season Ticket price band will see a reduction as the Club uses increased broadcast revenue to offer dramatically cheaper tickets to its supporters
  • A new entry-level Band 5 adult Season Ticket will cost just £289 – the cheapest in the Premier League
  • All Season Tickets for Under-16s will be cut to just £99 – the equivalent of only £5 per game
  • A family of four can buy a Season Ticket for just £776 – the equivalent of £41 per match

Make no mistake, this move is not purely for the love of the fans. A lot of this will be made up in the revenue sharing from the £5.14 billion mega television deal. So what does that amount to for each team? Let’s do the math... 25% of 5.14/20(.25).. is, umm, carry the two... where’s my calculator? It’s wacky but these folks seem to have it figured out.

West Ham have one of the cheapest adult season ticket plans starting at just £289. For some UK folks that must seem like a lot of money, but for us in the United States, that’s a single football (American) game. Want to feel proud/jealous of English sporting regulations? Check this out:

In the NFL, you don’t just buy season tickets, which costs thousands of dollars, you have to also buy a PSL. What’s a PSL? A personal seat license, or PSL, is a paid license that entitles the holder to the right to buy season tickets for a certain seat in a stadium. This holder can sell the seat license to someone else if they no longer wish to purchase season tickets. So just to recap, you have to pay thousands of dollars, just for the right to pay thousands of dollars. Why have these PSLs? That’s because you can’t actually buy season tickets as none are readily available. The current wait time for season tickets to the Green Bay Packers is 30 years, with 81,000 currently on the list. Don’t want to wait? Offer to pay one of their lifelong fans $20,000 for the PSL and hope for the best.

Major League Baseball might not have PSLs, but some major franchises like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will cost you anywhere from $2,000 for nosebleed seats, to $20,000.

The NBA has a loyal and dedicated fan base that will pack out most home games around the league. However, the NBA is also known for their celebrities sitting courtside such as Jack Nicholson for the LA Lakers and Spike Lee for the NY Knicks. All you need is $125,000.

How’s that £289 looking now? Geoff Hurst help West Ham United should that ever increase to £290. 10,000 Liverpool supporters walked out of a home match against Sunderland in the 77th minute when the board announced they were raising ticket prices £11. Picture that happening at a New York Giants game. Or at an LA Lakers game where only the most fabulous of celebrities attend. American fans would loudly type expletives on Facebook but then begrudgingly hand over their paychecks.

Perhaps it boils down to a cultural rift. A divide that only years of capitalism and a fondness for the excessive can explain. Regardless of the circumstance, I’d gladly fork over £289 even if I weren’t a supporter, just to catch the odd match.