This is originally from Buckle & Pals via the Skyscraper City site forum.
In principle the new stadium brings in more…
– commercial income, involving various new partnerships, etc., including naming rights;
– premium seat revenues (as reflected in the food, luxury, Michelin star stuff, cheese boards, views from the lounges, good looking people to look at [I’ve seen the drawings], parking/shuttles, etc.);
– much better facilities for music concerts, other sporting events (NFL, boxing, etc.), including the growing, and likely lucrative, market in e-sports (the rental fees for 16 major events will add up);
– catering income from all the events, football and other.
– greater ‘ordinary’ income from PL matches as a result of the increased number of seats but not necessarily at higher prices.
In addition, a state-of-the-art stadium has an intangible but nonetheless important value in the eyes of commentators, pundits, analysts, and so forth, linking a ‘world-class’ stadium with a ‘world-class’ training ground to the image of an aspiring ‘world class’ football team. This aids recruitment at all levels, the image projected around the world, and thus, as mentioned, commercial income.
Hence an increase in the price of ordinary seats is not necessarily part of the model.
Oh, and by the way, those of us sitting/standing in the Park Lane single-tier stand (who are not 1882 folks), may marvel at the selection of food and drink. I hope. But we will actually be paying more for it. These food and drink offerings are a profit centre in themselves. Arguing that we should be paying more for our tickets because there are better facilities misses the point because we’ll be paying for them in addition to our increased ST prices. OK there’ll be better toilets. And a better mobile phone signal. And that’s pretty much it.
Anyway… the Trust was told that there would be price stretching, i.e. prices would be stretched upward at the high end (high price ‘ordinary’ seats and premium seats) and stretched downward at the low end. The latter is important to bring in more low(er) income fans and young people, the supporters of the future. Yes, there are age-related concessions but, looking at the prices, they are still very steep for a younger person. Then the cliff face comes when a younger person comes of age and considers priorities.
Key to all of this, in financial terms, is that some more stretching downward, i.e. with prices sensitive to the real world — rather than some kind of supply-and-demand metric generated by a survey company — would only have a small effect on revenues accrued from the stadium. And in the general picture — where we add media income, established commercial income (the big raises with AIA and Nike this year, which will be seen in next year’s results), merchandising, etc., the cost to the club of a better downward ‘stretch’ is marginal.
There’s a kind of cost-benefit to all of this. How much does it cost the club to do a lot better to attract the young fans of the future? How much does it cost to generate good will among the many ‘ordinary’ and very loyal supporters who have now taken a deep breath with the price rises?
Actually, very little in the scheme of things.
Our spending power will still rise substantially and we’ll be competing much better with the five richer clubs above us.
As many are saying, the club has faltered here.
But, relevant to this thread, there is more to say about the effect of all of this on atmosphere.
Way back in this thread, there was a well-argued post that atmosphere had nothing much to do with architecture, etc. It has to do with the people who occupy that space.
I think the club has in fact done the right thing to attend to acoustics, shorter distances to the pitch, rake of the stands, the roof, etc. Bigger stadia suffer from problems that should be rectified as far as possible (think the failure of Wembley).
So in NWHL we are correcting rather than improving. That’s an important point to remember.
So the people in the stadium are key here. The way in which premium seats have cut into the Shelf side, interrupted the side line, cut a stripe across the single tier stand (why, oh why) is an issue. The division of upper and lower tiers on three sides by a premium layer is assumed. It’s not that premium seat holders are in any way lesser fans. No. Not at all. But it is an iron law of stadia the world over that they make less noise. They are entitled to. That’s absolutely fine. Spurs premium seat holders are no different.
But the whole logic of the single-tier stand was to create a ‘wall of noise’ to connect the ‘ordinary fans’ of upper and lower tiers of the other sides. The price stretch downwards was supposed to operate here, except it really hasn’t. In addition, a lot of more ordinary fans have been displaced from the upper and lower tiers of the East Stand. The Park Lane has experienced a lot of significant price rises. And then there are the 1882 seats… Arguments that there are a lot of cheap seats don’t work because many are stuck back in positions with poorer views.
The discussion about pricing is pretty fundamental. We can talk about architecture, acoustics, stand rakes, building materials, roof angles, big screens, etc., but it’s all pretty meaningless unless we consider the people who occupy the stadium.
The club has taken a big risk.
Those who believe this kind of thinking is beneath contempt, should pause. By all means attack this post, but please remember that this view is not one of a malcontent. I like the new stadium, I love Spurs and look forward to next season. I’ll be yelling my ageing lungs out in the lower reaches of the Park Lane.
But bear in mind that the THST is unhappy, and the club has not been straight with this supporter-representative organisation. It’s not just me or other individuals who are expressing reservations.
I really hope in five years’ time that we haven’t gone down the Emirates plug hole, that we haven’t tried a new initiative to improve atmosphere for the umpteenth time, that we are not counting the empty seats. I really hope that we aren’t trying to shut a stable door that was opened this year with the new pricing policy.
Then again, Harry Kane, at the peak of his career, may well be scoring a hat trick in the Champions League final at the end of a rocking NWHL season… and I’ll shut the flip up.