Would you pay £38 for this view at QPR?
When Southampton fan Sam White bought a ticket to see his team play away at QPR, he knew he was getting a 'restricted view'. However, after forking out £38, he expected to at least be able to see a decent proportion of the pitch. What he got was a glimpse of the near corner, and a close-up view of a commentary box obscuring the rest of the pitch. He was so cross that he tweeted the FA and the Premier League.
He later told the Mirror that he wanted a refund, as he wouldn't have bothered going to the ground if he'd had any idea his view would be so poor - he wouldn't even have taken that particular seat for free.
He added that seats had been sold in the entire block, and that some of those higher up had an even worse view.
Reaction to his original Tweet garnered some comments from QPR fans saying that those tickets had been on sale all season without complaints, and some arguing that people who buy restricted seats cannot complain if the view is restricted.
However, the vast majority of people agreed with White, with some adding: "Restricted view is restricted view not no view at all at £38!!!" and "I just can't believe they even sell that seat!! Let alone for £38."
How can they do this?
The problem is two-fold. First, there is no definition of what constitutes a 'restricted view', so it is up to each club to decide what can be considered to be restricted, and what is 'seriously restricted'. It has led to arguments at clubs across the UK, and a number of formal complaints to the FA.
The second is that fact that football tickets are so expensive that the cost for even the worst views has soared. The average cost of the cheapest adult match-day ticket at Premier League clubs has risen by more than 15% since 2011 - and prices are usually between £15 and £50. Arsenal has the priciest match day tickets - at £75, and Chelsea has the most expensive cheap seats at £50.
The sad fact is that clubs can continue to charge the earth - and even charge £38 for a ticket with this dreadful view - because there are committed fans who are willing to pay through the nose for them. The question is whether clubs should be allowed to take advantage of their dedication.
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