TOO MUCH

It costs as much to attend a Premier League game in England as to travel to a match in Germany

Obsession
Business of Sport
Obsession
Business of Sport

The English Premier League is arguably the best domestic soccer competition in the world. At the global level, over a billion fans passionately follow the travails of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs, every weekend.

But it’s becoming prohibitively expensive for fans to attend the matches. At $83, the average price for a Premier League ticket is the most expensive of the world’s top leagues, a recent study by GoEuro and Onefootball shows.

To find out which league offers the best value for money, the study ranked them based on the quality of the games (as ranked by such bodies as UEFA and FIFA) against their average ticket prices. And looking at the issue through this prism, Germany’s Bundesliga will give you the best game for your buck.

Country Average ticket price ($) Worldwide ranking Overall value
Germany 35 2 12.6
Spain 78 1 8.9
Portugal 36 5 4.8
England 83 3 3.8
Argentina 31 7 3.6
France 41 6 3.3
Belgium 31 8 3
Italy 77 4 3
Turkey 14 14 2.7
Brazil 28.5 11 2

This issue has been a matter of debate for a while now in England, with critics arguing that skyrocketing prices are stripping soccer of its “people’s game” spirit. In fact, things have become so contentious that last April, some fans of Liverpool boycotted a home game against Hull City, protesting what they claimed were exorbitant rates for tickets.

Fans are not being entirely irrational. Here is one example: as The Guardian points out, in the 1989/90 season the cheapest ticket to watch Manchester United play cost £3.50. Adjusted for inflation, the price should have slightly more than doubled by 2014. In fact, the cheapest Man United ticket in 2014 cost £31, nearly nine times as much.

GoEuro research found that about 2,000 British soccer fans travel weekly to see one of Germany’s top clubs, Borussia Dortmund, play in the Bundesliga. German ticket prices are so much lower that, even with the extra cost of travel, “it costs almost the same to travel to Germany to see a Bundesliga match as it does to stay in the UK and attend a Premier League game,” Naren Shaam, CEO of GoEuro said.

And do you know where you can enjoy a top soccer match at a very cheap rate? South Africa. A ticket to a South African Premier Soccer League game, accompanied by the magnificent sound of the vuvuzela, will set you back a mere $10.

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