SFA urged to cut ticket prices for older people to help fill half empty stadiums
Published on 10 September 2019 04:48 PM
Age Scotland is urging the Scottish Football Association to offer discounted tickets to over-65s, following Scotland’s match against Belgium at a half-empty Hampden Park.
Fewer than half of the 51,866 tickets for the Euro 2020 qualifier match on Monday night (SEPTEMBER 9) in Glasgow were sold. Scotland manager Steve Clarke warned of “apathy” from the Tartan Army after a similar attendance slump at their previous clash against Russia.
Age Scotland’s Chief Executive Brian Sloan has written to the SFA, saying that failing to offer concessionary tickets was a “missed opportunity” to fill the stands as well as helping tackle loneliness among older people.
An adult full-price ticket costs between £27 and £30, with no discounts for those over retirement age. Junior tickets start at £8.
Mr Sloan said: “We’re disappointed that despite repeated pleas, the SFA still does not offer a discount to older fans. This week’s half-empty stadium for a Euro 2020 qualifier match clearly illustrates this is an own goal for the SFA.
“Many older people have been loyal fans all their lives, but struggle to afford full-price tickets on their pensions. With tens of thousands of tickets unsold for major international matches, the SFA is missing an opportunity to fill the stands.
“This would also be a step in the right direction towards tackling loneliness among older people. Around 200,000 older people in Scotland regularly go a week without speaking to anyone – the equivalent of four full Hampden Park stadiums.
“A more inclusive pricing structure would make it easier for older people to enjoy a night out at a game, and encourage younger fans to bring an older friend or relative. We’d also love to see the SFA working with more community groups, such as walking sports clubs and veterans' groups, to offer discounts.
“This would be a win-win situation, boosting attendance while rewarding lifelong fans and reaching out to the wider community.”
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