LOYAL footy fans already facing a new MCG variable pricing system have been hit with a fee to print tickets on their own printers after booking online.
The Herald Sun reports that the MCG will introduce a $2.50 “service/delivery” charge to print off their own tickets for home and away games. “Handling fees” for Etihad tickets bought online have also reportedly jumped 50c to $7.
MCC spokesman Shane Brown told the Herald Sun the change was part of a “simpler” system that had lowered costs for phone bookings and direct purchases at an agency. “While Ezy Ticket customers will incur a $2.50 fee this year for the first time, customers who purchase at an agency will have their fee reduced by $2.45 compared to last year, and those who use operator-assisted phone bookings will pay $6.50 less,” Mr Brown said.
AFLFA president Brian Clarke said most footy fans book tickets online so will pay the new charge, which is on top of the booking fees they already pay.
“This is yet another charge forcing a captive audience with little choice to pay more,” Brian says. “Many fans turn up to watch their team at every game they play at the MCG; this is not just a one-off like the theatre. How can they justify yet another fee for printing our tickets at home? It’s our printer and our ink.”
The move follows the announcement of variable pricing at the MCG this year, which will force more fans to book for blockbuster games.
Under variable pricing, at least four MCG games will be classified A-Reserved, which means everyone has to book and there is no general admission. These include Geelong versus Hawthorn in Round 5, Collingwood versus Essendon in Round 6 (ANZAC Day), Carlton versus Collingwood in Round 7 and Essendon versus Richmond in Round 11 (Dreamtime at the ‘G).
At least nine games will be classified A-Game, which means General admission will be limited for advance sales, with a minimum held for members to walk up on match day (subject to capacity). Adult reserved tickets will cost up to $60 at the MCG this year – before any extra charges.
“This means more fans will have to book and face the double whammy of a $2.50 fee to print their tickets,” Brian says. “The more loyal the fan, the more they will pay, especially those who support big-drawing teams.”
Two Round 23 MCG games, Collingwood versus Hawthorn and Carlton versus Essendon, are yet to be classified.
The AFLFA provides a voice for AFL fans across Australia on issues affecting them. AFLFA membership is free and anyone can join at www.aflfans.org.au.