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Miffed about $45 test cricket seats? Here’s how to save

Tickets to the cricket test at Eden Park aren’t that expensive, New Zealand Cricket says – if you’re organised.

Complaints about the $45 walk-up price for a seat have been seen on website Cricinfo and overheard at the ground by NBR ONLINE.

But NZC's general manager of commercial and marketing James Wear says test cricket prices have never been more aggressively discounted before a match than for the Eden Park test, which was attended by 5500 people on its opening day.

For the 25,000 people who have signed up with the Black Caps website, a pre-purchase price of $25 was available three weeks before the match and, up until the first ball is bowled each day, fans pay $35.

A pre-purchased five-day pass, bought three weeks before, cost $50 and, before play started on Thursday, cost $75.

There are also family passes.

Half of people who have attended the test, so far, have bought discounted tickets.

“I get a bit frustrated because I’ve heard that $45 figure bandied a lot – and then people say to get discount you’ve got to book weeks in advance," Mr Wear says.

“But I don’t think three weeks before, or even the day of, a match is actually that long to get organised.”

Of the 29,000 people who attended the one-day international against India at Eden Park, 72% bought discounted tickets, he says.

“Prices are very emotive – we get complaints every year about prices.

“I’ll give you an example, someone complained because they could only attend one session of the game – it was the middle session – so they wanted to pay $15.”

Blanket prices
Mr Wear says one change from last year’s test at Eden Park against England, which attracted 38,000 people, is that seats cost the same throughout the stadium this year – while last year the east and west stands were cheaper.

That has applied to every stadium throughout the Indian series.

Mr Wear, who was the marketing manager for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, says last year’s Eden Park test against England was profitable for NZC.

Even if the Eden Park test isn’t profitable this year, he says profitability isn’t the only factor NZC considers before deciding its schedule – it would always consider holding a test match at the country’s biggest stadium in its biggest city.

Ticket prices are evaluated at the end of each season and he says NZC’s research revealed pricing wasn’t a big deciding factor on whether to attend.

“Our biggest competitor is the 55-inch TV at home and the great production values that our broadcasters make.”

He says the amount NZC makes from the broadcast rights has no bearing on ticket pricing.

The bulk of the ticket price goes to New Zealand Cricket, which pays to hire the stadium, with small amounts going to Ticketek and Eden Park.

To compare, tickets to the Wellington Sevens are $129 for Saturday and $209 for a two-day pass, while seats at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium to watch rugby league side the Warriors play the Broncos range from $15 to $45.

More by David Williams

Comments and questions

No matter how NZ cricket spin it, the tickets are overpriced and they are doing themselves out of revenue. I know of plenty of people who considered attending the test match on Saturday or Sunday but have been put off because of the cost. Tests are traditionally poorly attended and with the Blackcaps performing well, I would have thought the administrators would be bending over backwards to get supporters to the ground. One can understand pre-sales for an event that is likely to be sold out but there was never any danger of that at Eden Park, or indeed any other teat venue in New Zealand.

I think that the administrators have once again shown themselves to be out of step with public opinion. I attended on Waitangi Day and there was widespread bemusement at the price of the tickets. The catering at the ground is dreadful with fast food the only option. A bottle of Tui beer is $8. If the administrators despair about attendances, they need not look any further than themselves.

Just want to take my kids for a couple of hours, to introduce them to cricket. Won't be paying $45 each for the privilege...

This marketing guy is obviously out of touch and lacking commercial nouse. The price should be $20 end of story.

I agree with the above comments. The pecking is a disgrace. They should be doing everything possible to encourage families to come. $20 dulls and $5 for kids is plenty.
They should change to get a walk up crowd. We don't like to book ahead for cricket as it is so weather dependant

I wonder how many of the attendees receive working for families, paid parental leave and have an interest free loan while the people who pay for that welfare are working or stay at home because of the cost?

Disappointing price structure NZ Cricket, I was keen to take my girlfriend along for the afternoon session. We won’t be going for $45 each. This is even more crazy when one considers how much revenue you made from the TV rights for this tour and the poor game day attendance is more than obvious. Surely you should be focusing on getting people through the gates to support our team!

Do you give a discount for the Gold Card?? Hell's Bell's my only income is NZ Super @ $274 per week they will never ever fill the ground so Gold Card could be free perhaps??!! the only place you can use your Gold Card is in Auckland, and a free Hot Chocolate at Maccas NZ wide.

Yes Wills, seniors and students do get a discount to $35. My gripe is the set seating - which everyone ignores. The price is the same throughout the ground so why not let patrons select the area which suits them best.

I asked for covered seats in the North Stand and was sold uncovered in the South. The ticket seller just did not want to know. So of course I just went where I wanted - like everybody else

Obviously the NZ economy hasn't reached "rock star" status yet if people think that $45 for an international sporting event is too expensive. What are tickets for an All Blacks Test again? $100+ each?

Make it free.

I'm only partially kidding - if the real revenue driver is TV rights, then getting a big crowd in for each game will generate recurring income for years.

Meanwhile provide compelling reasons for spectators to spend money at the ground with good value food, drinks and things to buy.

If general entry is free, then you can provide upgrade seat options (as airlines do) to extract more money from those willing to pay. For example charge $10 for better views, $25 for covered, $50 for club class and so on.

This stuff really isn't hard - first, worry about filling the stadium, then second increase prices to manage demand.

I attended on the Thursday and the Friday - I did log in in the morning and pay $35 with a printed ticket at home (which actually also saved me a walk along the full length of the stadium because I approached from Mt Eden - a good catchment area I would have thought - but there are no ticket offices open on that side it seems). The general consensus around us on both days is that $45 is not right and I agree with the sentiment above. Ironically I would be happier paying $45 if the ground was full as you are buying into the atmosphere !

I also attended the first two days of the Ashes at the Gabba and it is better if the stadium is full - fact. So lets get more along. The Phoenix showed how it can be done with very cheap tickets. I think a uniform GA structure is best with people walking round and self-choosing their seats as most did anyway. We did have a chuckle at the punters carefully checking their tickets to find their designated seats.

The food and alcohol offering is a separate but related discussion point - the beer is terrible, no qualms with the 4% limit but give us some flavoursome choices instead of selling out the supply rights to the highest bidder .. or if you do that sell to Lion and give us a choice of Emerson's in a plastic cup ! Agree with the above comment re the food offering - even the Big day out got this partially right .. how about some indigenous food tents in a pop up village on the No.2 while we watch our kids bat and bowl ...

I fondly remember going into Lords with a picnic hamper full of bread cheese olives and pate and two bottles of Alsace riesling and no one batted an eye ... now that was a day at the Test !