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Are Students Being Priced out of Sport?

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Sporting tickets now cost more than ever before. The average price to go and watch a Premier League match is now at an all time high of £30 whilst it'll cost you £70 to see the opening day of England's third test match against India on Saturday. With prices more dear then ever before, can students still afford to attend?

A recent research project conducted by the BBC suggested half of Premier League clubs would still be able to make profit if they only sold half of available tickets. This suggests clubs are no longer bothered about attendances but would rather see less people at more the cost. 

Whilst the average Premier League ticket is estimated to cost £30, it would have cost you at least £65 to watch Arsenal take on Manchester City on Sunday, the most expensive in the league, with no discount for students.

Upwards pricing across the division means it is now more expensive then ever before. A new rule bought in by the Premier League capped away fans tickets at £30 however the opposite effect meant an increase for home fans. Students are finding age brackets such as 18-21 being closed on them and having to pay full, adult prices to attend games.

Last year, a BBC survey revealed 82% of 1000 18-24 year olds asked said they could no longer afford to attend Premier League matches, with a high proportion of them students, who didn't have spare cash to simply afford the luxary. 

Whilst student discounts are few and far between, some clubs do offer bridges between child and adult prices with a "young adult" section, where prices aren't as expensive but can still be so dear that it would put the average student off. 

Student season ticket holders are even rarer to find, with the average Premier League season ticket holder being 40 and according to figures, only 4% of Premier League season ticket holders are between 18 and 21, with roughly just under 2% of them students.

It isn't just football however where students are being priced out of chances to experience live top class sport.

A ticket to watch England in a test match is also at an all time high, with anyone over the age pf 18, student or not, having to pay at least £70 now to watch England at the height of summer. Even a younger generation attarcted to the firworks of twenty twenty will still be deep in pocket, it would have cost you £50 to watch Eoin Morgan's men against India earlier in the summer.

Rugby however is possibily the anomaly, with in April this year the RFU annoucing that for the first time they would be offering children tickets and adult tickets only starting from £25. Whilst there wouldn't be any discounts for students or young adults, they did however propose free tickets for the game against the Barbarian's in May for anyone under the age of 24.

It is sure however that the research points to the facts. Ticketing prices acorss different sports mean it's now more expensive then ever and therefore even more difficult for students to attend when they already have so many other financial responsibilties on what for many is already a tigh budget. 

Image rights - Martin Thirkettle - http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1119861

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