EXCLUSIVE: Skyrocketing prices of Brisbane Roar’s family season passes have been partly to blame for the club’s poor attendances at Suncorp stadium this season, say Roar fans.
Brisbane Roar confirmed today that this season their Maroon class family season pass sells for $1080. Last season the same pass was $390. That's an increase of almost $700.
In these tough economic times, it's too much for some fans who've told this website the price hike is the main reason why the club is pulling such low crowds this season.
"A big reason why I'm not going to games is that I can't afford it," long-time Roar supporter and mother of two young children Nicole Smeelie told au.fourfourtwo.com.
Nicole, who was attending games with her husband and kids, says families are being priced out of watching the Roar.
"We can't afford that," she said. "The prices have gone up astronomically. Families can't afford that in this day and age.
"I know five or six people who've not bought season tickets because they know they'll miss a game here and there and it's like throwing away money at that price."
This season, Roar hosted Gold Coast United in their season opener followed by Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners.
Just under 20,000 saw the opening round clash - a good figure but down on what some had anticipated. This was followed by two of the lowest ever crowds for the club - 7084 and 6433.
Brisbane Roar CEO Peter McLennan defended the prices, telling au.fourfourtwo.com that the prices reflect the increase in the number of home games from 10 to 14.
"We truly believe over two hours of entertainment we are still very good value for money and at our current entry level ticket prices we're comparable to taking a family to the movies," he said.
And he said that it was necessary to have such pricing for the club's economic good but promised that any fan concerns would be taken on board and hinted there could be some ticket relief in the future.
He added: "While we are very aware of being affordable, we must also ensure we are viable to guarantee our fans have a club to support in the future.
"We are listening to our fans and we're currently assessing our options."
Only once last season did Roar dip below a five-figure home crowd (9118 for Perth Glory in round 12). Generally, Roar have been one of the best-supported A-League clubs in the four seasons thus far.
At Suncorp last season, attendances for Roar's final two games of the season were over 17,000 and 23,000 respectively. And at the start of last season, Roar's first two home games pulled over 12,000 fans each.
The season before that, the club averaged almost 13,000 for their home and away calendar of matches.
Roar's next home game is on Sunday, September 20 against Perth Glory.