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.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz

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