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Villarreal's new season ticket plan gets some pushback

Social media has seen some criticism of the new incentives for rewarding attendance, though most fans still reacted positively to the campaign.

Fill those seats!
Fill those seats!
S.R. Sidarth

Villarreal announced their season ticket prices earlier this week, and while the cost for a season ticket--as long as you're not trying for the fancy boxes in the tribuna--are still one of football's great bargains, some supporters have been less than complimentary of some of the changes that have been made.

Why, exactly?  Part of it has to do with the elimination of some of the sections for the supporters' groups such as the Colectivo Aldeano; their corner has become a bit rowdy (by Villarreal standards, at least) in recent times.  Now, that far corner is open to everyone.

The main complaint I've heard though is coming from people who travel from outside Vila-real to see the matches.  It's true that some of the kickoff times mandated by the league haven't been easy for people from, say, the Valencia area, to attend matches by public transport, since the last train back is well before the match ends.  And there is a feeling that somehow by making the season passes cheaper for those who come to more matches, the club is somehow "valuing" local attendees more than those who come from farther away.

I'm not sure this really has a lot of merit.  Frankly, what strikes me about the new prices is that except for the corners of the ground, the reduction you get for being a Gold, Silver or Bronze "Very Yellow Person" aren't that much, really; 10% at most.  And, you need only have come to half the matches (15 of 29) to get some sort of discount.

I could not find last year's ticket prices for comparison, but my sense is the prices have changed only slightly (except I believe the tribuna has gone up by more).  As Sr. Roig said, though, we need to get bodies into the seats.  It's great to have 20,000 "socios", but if they are only going to come to three or four matches a season (Valencia, Barca, Madrid)that's not really what the team needs.

With the new TV contract, attendance is one of the variables that will be taken into account when assigning teams' share of the overall proceeds, and besides a full, or close to full, El Madrigal is certainly helpful when it comes to supporting the club.

I am not in Spain, of course, have not lived through the economic crisis, and so can't imagine what it's like trying to get by on small incomes there.   I do sense the club is doing everything it can to assist people who want to buy a ticket--there are interest-free loans which can be paid over the course of the season, unemployed get a reduction in cost (free for the first year, sliding scale for the next two years), etc.

And just to compare a seat behind our goal (the end where the Villarreal USA banner is, the one to the right on the TV feed) to a similar one in the Mestalla, we're talking €225 vs €350.  For a seat in the lower preferencia, €880 in Valencia, €450--at most-in El Madrigal.  The best seats in the house, right in front of the VIPs?  €1400 in Valencia, €900 in Villarreal.   We are more expensive than Levante, granted (€170 behind the goals, €220-380 along the sides) but that's Levante, not a club in Europe.

For €12 per match you can sit under cover in El Madrigal and watch Villarreal compete in three competitions, surely an excellent deal.  Looks as though most people (77%) who responded to Javi Mata thought positively of the campaign.  I expect once people have thought about it, they'll see it makes sense, but I do feel the club needs to make its case a little more strongly too.   Endavant!