Mar 252013
 

opinion

By Martin Devlin

Published: 7:42AM Tuesday March 26, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

Martin Devlin: Paying for an empty Eden Park (Source: Photosport)

General view of Eden Park – Source: Photosport

18:29 Black Caps’ hopes of victory dashed by dogged English video
Dear Black Caps, all is forgiven (for now) video

There’s a very good reason why the stands have been seriously empty at Eden Park during this third and deciding Test match – the cost.

Silly old NZ Cricket did themselves no favours at all by ramping the tickets up to a prohibitive price.

It almost feels cruel re-taking the long handle to NZC.

Surely they haven’t gone and got it sadly wrong again have they?

Surely not?

I mean this was the decider!

All square with one to play and this on the back of big crowds at both Dunedin and Wellington…so of course you’d be looking to pack the stands for day one at Eden Park right?

You want the Poms to tune in at night in England and see Test cricket bursting at the seams right?

Sunny skies, the Barmy Army in full voice, I dunno it might even encourage a few en route to Aussie for the end-of-year Ashes to pop over here and give us some of their tourist dollars too?

But not according to NZC, no!

Instead they think “hmmm, we can cash in here” so whack a price tag on an adult walk-up ticket of $45.

If you pre-book it was about $42 with all the associated costs.

Then add in your transport and remembering you can’t take any food or drink in with you and a day’s play easily creeps towards costing somewhere between $80-$100.

Obviously our travelling visitors are spending pounds or euros so maybe they won’t notice as much as the locals did but, for the average Kiwi fan, it’s bloody ridiculous.

I’ve heard the commentators say they don’t think the Auckland public are supporting the team (i.e. usual slack attitude etc) but I wonder whether the answer to that would’ve been easily fixed by not asking people to pay such a premium price.

Especially when you compare this Test with the four-game package currently being offered to see the Blues.

For $240 two adults and 4 kids can go along to four Super15 matches.

That’s $60 for six folk to get through the gate as opposed to $45 for just one person at the cricket.

The sparse attendance on Friday was mirrored across the weekend too. A sad sight considering the quality of the cricket, the beautiful weather and the fact the Black Caps have been dominant from virtually the first ball bowled.

Granted, NZ Cricket has cut the ticket prices in half for the final day – so fans can hopefully see the Black Caps create history – but for the much of the match, here is the equation:

$45 at the gate + food + drink + transport = the best part of $100 for one adult for one day at the cricket.

About $20 more than it costs to have the full MySky HDi package for a whole month.

So if NZC are still wondering why the stands are empty, therein lies the rather obvious answer.

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