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HOME arrow BLOG arrow Parks Could Sell More Bovrils and Pies
Parks Could Sell More Bovrils and Pies
Written by Scott Silver   
Friday, 26 December 2008

I've drawn the connection between higher gate fees and lower attendance so many times that I won't do so when introducing the appended article. It makes the point well enough. I would, however, ask you to ponder the following.

Imagine the political pressure National Park concessioners could exert to reduce park entrance fees if they concluded that today's sky-high entrance fees have been cutting into sales of rubber tomahawks, slurpies and popcorn.  They could exert as much pressure as they did when they lobbied Congress in support of giving the NPS authority to increase fees without limit.

Back then, concessionaires saw a opportunity to focus not upon the general admission crowd, but upon selling value-added experiences to those who could afford skybox prices. Back then, the generally accepted problem was  that "we were loving our parks to death." Reducing visitation was a priority and many interest groups cried out for higher fees as a way to solve the visitation problem.  Back then, the economy was booming and now it has gone bust. So what's next?

Will the Park Service and their tourism partners focus upon the skybox crowd or will they lower the price of admission in an effort to pack in the crowds more tightly and then sell them all the Bovrils and Pies they can consume? Or will they, after decades of mismanaging the National Park System, step back and try to determine where and how they went wrong? Will they use this opportunity to begin to put things right --- or is that asking too much?


--- begin quoted ---

Jim Jefferies calls on SPL to cut ticket prices

The longest-serving manager in the Scottish Premier League believes that its clubs may need to reduce admission prices by up to 50 per cent in order to combat the effects of the global economic downturn.

By Ewing Grahame

Kilmarnock's Jim Jefferies argues that football cannot hope to remain impervious to the credit crunch and that slashing the cost of entry may be the best, and possibly the only way to keep the turnstiles moving during 2009.

The Ayrshire club have been at the forefront of initiatives aimed at drumming up custom, including letting schoolchildren accompanied by an adult in for free, and Jefferies is convinced that the SPL need to abandon their current structure if they are to prosper.

"I think it'll be tough," Jefferies said. "It has hit some businesses and football's a business as well. If clubs start feeling the pinch they'll have to make cutbacks just like other major companies.

"The problem is that while football is a business you can't run it like any other industry. It's an emotional thing; you're guided by what people's expectations are, what they want to see and it's linked to success on the park."

With even the Old Firm struggling to fill Parkhead and Ibrox, Jefferies believes that cutting the cost of match tickets is the way forward, citing the large Bundesliga attendances fuelled by cheap entrance fees.

"Maybe one of the things that has to be looked at is how much we're charging them to get into grounds," he continued. "If there are people out there who are going to find it harder to attend matches because they've been hit [by the recession] we have to look at that.

"If people can't afford to come along then that affects everything at a football club. Maybe guys who previously took their kids along won't be able to do that any longer. We have to accommodate them and help them."

Jefferies hopes that the SPL board will discuss the issue of admission fees in 2009. "It's expensive to go to games," he said.

"The Bosman ruling increased wages so you've got to get money from somewhere but more people will come if its cheaper. The best atmosphere we've had was when 2,000 kids were let in for nothing.

"You do that now and again but you can't do that all the time.

"For example, a ticket might be 20 and you reduce it to 10 and the crowd doubles. There's a much better atmosphere and gate money's the same.

"You might even get three times as many coming along and a good crowd will make people come back. They'll also buy pies and Bovrils.

"People have to get round the table and look at it," he said. "If it made sense I'm sure it would be welcomed by all fans.

"Some people can afford their executive suites and boxes but the majority are ordinary punters."

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Last Updated ( Friday, 26 December 2008 )

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