A new $950 "fan" themed AFL Grand Final corporate package is an insult to members who turn up week-in, week-out only to miss out on tickets, the AFL Fans Association said today. The AFLFA believes these tickets should go to competing club members at face value, which was $220 in 2014.
The new Grand Final Fan Precinct package includes a Category 6 seat, access to an MCG 'Yarra Park Fan Precinct', pre-game refreshments and cocktail style footy fare, live pre-game entertainment and a Grand Final AFL Record. AFL Fans Association president Gerry Eeman says the package prices out ordinary fans and allows cashed-up corporates who don’t attended a game all year to snap them up now.
"A Category 6 seat at last year’s Grand Final cost $220," Gerry says. "This means purchasers of the new $950 ‘fan’ themed AFL Grand Final corporate package are effectively paying $730 for pre-match festivities, a couple of beers, some party pies and an AFL Record. This means someone who doesn’t attended games and is not a member of their club, the AFL or the MCC, but has the cash, can jump the queue ahead of diehard members who can’t afford it. This is an insult to dedicated members of competing Grand Final teams who miss out on tickets every year. It just shouldn’t happen.
"The AFL should sharply reduce the number tickets sold through packages such as this one and stop allocating tickets to non-competing clubs. Money generated by the next TV rights deal would provide the perfect opportunity to compensate non-competing clubs, as many clubs have become dependent on the revenue drawn from selling or on-selling their ticket allocation into corporate packages."
Gerry says Grand Final Fan Precinct tickets should go to competing club members at face value. "The competing teams will probably have more than 100,000 members between them," he says. "Most miss out every year and are continually frustrated that anyone with money can jump the queue."
Last year the AFL broke Grand Final tickets up as follows: Competing Club Members (16,000-35,000), AFL Clubs (0–10,000), MCC Reserve (16,000-26,000), AFL Members (13,000-23,000), AFL/Medallion Club Members (4500-5000), AFL Entitlements/Contractual Obligations (5000-30,000), Competing Clubs (0-5000).
"While the AFL is to be congratulated on increasing the allocation of grand final tickets in 2014 from 25,000 to 30,000, we would like to see competing club members allocated at least 50,000 tickets, if not more," Gerry says. "These are the fans who support their teams all year and deserve to be there ahead of corporates and people from other AFL clubs."
Other AFL Grand Final corporate packages on offer to anyone with the cash include an elite Grand Final breakfast for $1695/$1730 (category3/4 seats), a Final Siren package for $2225 (category 3), or Grand Final Greatness packages for $2470/$2540/$2590 (category 3-2-1).
AFLFA membership is free and fans are encouraged to join at www.aflfans.org.au.