Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Singapore Warned Over AFF Cup Ticket Prices
SINGAPORE — “Affordable” and “comfortable” are the key words coming from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) as it ponders ticket prices for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which Singapore will co-host at the new National Stadium in November.
Following public perception of high ticket prices (S$45-S$180) for the Juventus vs Singapore Selection game at the same venue, the FAS insists it is working hard to get the pricing just right for the eight-team tournament, which runs from Nov 22 to Dec 4.
FAS marketing and communications director Gerard Wong told TODAY: “We will make sure that ticket prices will be affordable for the masses, and comfortable for a family of four (for example) should they decide to watch the championship. Our objective is to fill up the stadium and bring back the Kallang Roar.”
That was a sentiment echoed by AFF secretary-general Azzuddin Ahmad, who agrees that reasonable ticket prices will fill the stadium.
“As hosts, the FAS decides on the ticket prices, not the AFF, but I trust they know best what is affordable and fair for the average Singaporean,” said Azzuddin. “When Malaysia co-hosted the tournament in 2012, we set the cheapest tickets at RM10 (S$4) each. I recognise that the cost of living in Singapore could be higher, and we had an 80,000-seat stadium to fill as well.”
Zainudin Nordin, president of the FAS, is on the same page. “Affordable ticket prices and packed stadiums. That’s the way to go,” he said.
But he also cautioned against underselling the event. “We all know the high cost of rentals at the new National Stadium. Even after the discounts given by the SportsHub, it is still expensive.”
Akbar Hashim, who has been organising sports tours for Singapore fans for the past 25 years, thinks the Suzuki Cup is the ideal platform for bringing back the Kallang Roar.
However, the 52-year-old warned: “Get the ticket prices right, don’t scare away the fans by putting too high a price. For me, the ideal price would be S$12 for the seats behind the goals; S$15 for the gallery and S$20 for the grandstand. At that level, I am confident there would be a healthy turnout. If Singapore keeps winning, the FAS is in for a bonanza.
“I agree with Zainudin that it is expensive to rent the new National Stadium, but then again, it is a world-class structure and very nice to look at.”
COMMENT - the problem with the use of words such as affordable and comfortable is who do they apply to. Arsenal no doubt think their tickets are affordable because they sell out every game but it doesn't take into account sacrifices people make in other areas to follow their favourite team.
The prices quoted by Akbar seem reasonable to me which probably means the FAS will go in at a much higher peg. Mind you, he then blots hos copybook with the final sentence!