Today SAFC announced their season card prices for the 2011/12 season, and at Roker Report, we can't see how this is going to help Niall's quest to get more people through the door.
Although the prices remain incredibly good by Premier League standards, putting them up, even only slightly, isn't going to encourage people to come, no matter how SNQ chooses to spin things. "I believe we strike a good balance with our prices in terms of making paying to watch their team as affordable and convenient as possible for our fans" said the Messiah.
As I said, prices still remain amongst the cheapest and best in the league, and there's some cracking deals for youngsters such as under 16's being able to purchase a season card for under £70. However, everybody else goes up. Most kids aged under 16 will be with an accompanying parent, who will find that their ticket will have gone up between £20 & £30 depending on where they sit.
These smaller increases however are the encouragement for people to renew their tickets early. If you miss the April 6th deadline, you're more than likely paying significantly more than the current £20-30 increase.
There are also no new concession areas, which is quite a shame, as all too often the Premier Concourse is sparsely populated, along with the front rows of the lower bowl.
There is no news as to how much the prices will go up after the April 6th deadline, and no news on whether individual match tickets will go up, but you can almost guarantee they will both be significant increases.
"Our 2011-12 prices mean that's a child under the age of 16 can attend the Stadium Of Light for less than £4 a game, which I think represents very good value for money and gives families the opportunity to come along and enjoy football together." Indeed they can Niall, and £4 a game is unbelievably good, but as said, that's for Under 16's. To get a 'family' involved, a Parent accompanying two kids is still looking at best part of £500-600 to sit in the concession areas. Even more if there's both parents going, or the child has surpassed the age of 16.
And in the official press release Quinny goes on to waffle about low prices, a good team on the pitch, Steve Bruce is excellent etc. However, there's no reasoning behind the increase, and no reference to his previous statements of 'it's not about the money'
So whilst personally I'm not quibbling over paying an extra £30 next season, but I know others will. All of it goes against the words Niall spoke in previous weeks, where he insists that getting people through the door is not about money, but about filling the stadium. Will an increase in prices really help the situation? I fail to see how this will discourage the 'despised' from watching illegal broadcasts.
I can't help but feel it is all about the money, which his fine as every club needs money if they've any ambitions, but perhaps Niall will start and think through a few things before contradicting himself once again.
Tomorrow on Roker Report we'll be looking at ways SAFC can increase revenue, including ticketing options, sponsorship and further incentives which would put more arses on seats and increase the clubs coffers, so stay tuned!