500,000+ Season Tickets Sold In 2016/17
More than 500,000 Season Tickets were sold in the Football League pyramid for the 2016/17 season.
With ticket price high on the agenda in football thesedays, the Football League have pointed to year on year growth when it comes to Season Ticket commitments from fans, and this year the 500,000 barrier was broken for the first time.
The EFL obviously point to ticket reductions, competitive pricing and family ticket offers as part of the growth seen this year and in the breakdown they provided, it showed:
Championship - 326,000 Season Ticket holders.
League One - 117,000 Season Ticket holders.
League Two - 59,000 Season Ticket holders.
The EFL point to 26% growth across the three divisions from a level of 398,390 back in 2007, to the figure this season for Season Ticket holders of 502,826 in total.
As we've seen from the Football League already this season, they also point to falling match day ticket prices that suggest the average match day goer across all three leagues now pays £13.11 compared with £14.08 in the 2014/15 campaign.
Their research also points to the now common flexible pricing models for various ages, concessionary and family ticket blocks, showing that more than 50 clubs provide tickets for £5 and 15 clubs across League One and League Two allow additional free entry for youngsters.
Chief Executive Shaun Harvey told EFL.com.
'It is testament to the dedication and innovative approach clubs are taking to recruit season ticket holders that we are able to celebrate this collective landmark for the EFL. It is clear to see that football has never been so popular, nor has it ever been so competitively priced with great value for money being provided across the three divisions. It`s particularly pleasing to see so many new ideas being implemented to encourage families to attend and ensure that kids are given a taste of live EFL football at an early age - an experience and a thrill that we hope will stay with them for a lifetime.'
Many would suggest that value for money is an arbitrary concept when applied to football, and plenty of fans continue to feel priced out of their game, and growth in Season Ticket numbers in and of itself is not an indicator of value for money or competitive pricing.
However steps in the direction of reducing prices for the next generation are obviously to be applauded, as are growing family deals in the game - and even the growing access to cheaper adult priced tickets need to be applauded - but it can be far from the last step taken to reduce the overall cost of the game given modern day marketing, sponsorship and other business elements now that clubs can more easily tap into as revenue sources.
Clearly there's still a big divide in available money across the game, but even inter-divisional comparisons - such as the recent BBC Price of Football investigation:
Premier League and Championship figures - please Click Here.
League One and League Two figured - please Click Here.
Show how wildly prices can fluctuate for the average fan - so whilst average markers like the EFL used above are nice for guidance and trends, it can clearly be seen that they don't always tally for many followers of the game when it comes to what they actually spend.
One thing that should boost parent fans from this report is the findings when it came to the next generation of fans, as the EFL point out.
'There has been a 37% increase of junior season ticket holders over the past 10 years across the EFL.'
'More than 20% of all EFL club match attendees are now under 16.'
With the economy the way it is, the steps taken so far should only be seen as the beginning of reducing the prices for fans in the game, and if there is a downward trend in general - let's hope this time next season it's more noticeable for a far greater majority of fans than it currently is.