An article in the typically understated Daily Mail today is indicating that the average ticket price for Rugby World Cup 215 is set to come in at around £80. This is yet another blow to fans who yesterday found out that the knock-out rounds of the tournament will be held exclusively in London and Cardiff. This means fans North of Birmingham are now facing a cost of anywhere upwards of £1000 for a family trip to watch a game.
Once again this seems a smack in the face for loyal fans looking to experience the atmosphere of a live Rugby World Cup game in the latter stages of the tournament. Not only will fans now have to pay for travel and in some cases accommodation but also excessively priced tickets. Until today I was still contemplating making the most of the tournament and committing to travelling down to London or Cardiff so I can witness some of the best rugby the world has to offer. Seeing the likely cost mounting I am being forced to reconsider where my priories lie. An initial suggestion of an average ticket price around £71 was mooted, but even this level seems expensive.
How can the game expect to attract new fans to games when the cost of attending is sky high. This was an opportunity to open the game up to floating fans who may be convinced to attend matches due to them being in the local area and at seemingly good value. Instead now fans in the likes of Manchester have only one game on their doorstep, but even then will be expected to shell out hundreds of pounds to take their family to a game. Somehow I get the feeling football will continue to prevail in the area as this makes attending Manchester United look like great value.
The worst part is the thought of the blazers at Twickenham and the corporate sponsors who will be provided with hundreds of free tickets in the best seats to games played on their doorstep. This all comes at the cost of the average working fan looking to make the most of what may be their one and only opportunity to attend Rugby World Cup matches. This focus on filling the coffers continues to astound me, I just dread to think what the next announcement might mean. I just hope that someone sees sense before the entire legacy of the tournament is destroyed before it has even begun.