MCC defend’premium’ prices amid slow ticket sales for Lord’s Test

The MCC have defended setting “premium” ticket prices for England’s first Test under new leadership against New Zealand at Lord’s this week, with a significant number of tickets still available across the first four days.

The UK is also experiencing a cost-of- living crisis, with inflation rates at their highest in 40 years, leaving household budgets stretched.

However, concessions are only available in the cheapest price brackets, meaning that some Under-16 tickets are on sale for as much as £ 160 on the first three days of the Test. As of Tuesday, 16,000 tickets for days one to four were unsold ..

“MCC has undertaken significant reorganization of its ticket pricing for international matches in recent years, recognize the exceptional demand for tickets that Test matches at Lord’s are expected to generate,” the club told ESPNcricinfo in a statement.

“With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee double bank holiday weekend also taking place, we have seen a reduction in our usual expected attendance numbers. However, sales remain strong for the opening two days of the match and across our other international fixtures this year, with our India ODI being sold out.

“Whilst we recognize that the top price tickets available are at a premium price, we believe that across the whole ground, this represents good value to watch top-class international cricket at one of the world’s most iconic sporting venues, with many pricing points available . “.”

Stuart Broad, who is expected to make his return to the side on Thursday, said that England had to ensure they played an exciting style of cricket in order to attract fans. “From the outside, when you see Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ mindset come together, it’s pretty exciting, “he said.

“To attract the fans, we have to build on that style of cricket and have a style that people want to watch. Trent Bridge [the venue for the second Test] From the players’ point of view, we have to make that commitment that we want to be exciting and draw people through the gates.

“I suppose it’s comparative with Twickenham, Wembley –there’s a market value,” Broad added. “There’s a lot going on this weekend [so it’s] a strange one to judge: the Queen’s Jubilee, a bank holiday –there’s a lot of competition for entertainment in London. I’m sure the prices will have to adjust to the cost of living and if stadiums get emptier, people will have to adjust . “.”

McCullum said at his unveiling as England’s new Test coach last week that Test cricket would be “in trouble” if his side were not among the top sides in the world “because of the support that the people of England and the UK have” for the format. “No one else really has the same affection and has the ability to make the game sustainable,” he added.

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, told the Telegraph “You can’t keep saying,’we are Lord’s, we need two Test matches a year’and then charge over £ 150 in the holidays, during the jubilee. and during a cost-of-living crisis, “he said.

“It’s scandalous that Lord’s thinks it can get away with a ticket price for one day of Test cricket that is the same as what you would charge for a season ticket for the Hundred. then they do this. “

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ Mroller98


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