Chelsea won their fourth successive WSL title last season – Getty Images/Justin Setterfield
Chelsea have significantly increased ticket prices for their women’s games, after fans believed they were too cheap, Telegraph Sport understands.
The reigning Women’s Super League champions have also announced they will increase the number of matches they’ll play at the men’s team’s traditional home, Stamford Bridge, to a minimum of seven per season, including four WSL matches plus all of their Women’s Champions League games.
The rest of their home fixtures will continue to be played at Kingsmeadow, but playing a significantly increased number of matches at Stamford Bridge is seen as one that is crucial to growing revenues to invest into the women’s team.
The cost of the four-match WSL packages range from £50-£170 for adults, more than a full adult season ticket for last season, while Kingsmeadow season tickets will start from £60 for adults and £30 for concessions. Champions League prices have not yet been decided.
In 2022, manager Emma Hayes labelled all women’s football tickets as “too cheap”, and there is a wider feeling within the women’s game that some fans don’t hold a ‘fear of missing out’ if they have only paid a relatively small amount for their tickets, often leading to no-shows and empty seats at matches that were officially sold out.
That has often left some frustrated fans unable to buy tickets for a ‘sold-out’ game then seeing empty seats at the game via television.
Last season’s ticket prices for Chelsea Women
That issue was exemplified at this year’s Women’s FA Cup final, which technically sold out but then had a matchday attendance of 77,390, indicating thousands of empty seats, and it’s understood Chelsea have had feedback from their supporters groups that indicated fans would be happy to pay more.
Last term in the WSL, a junior fan could buy a season ticket at Kingsmeadow for just £5, amounting to under £1 per match. That’s now seeing at least a six-fold increase with concession season ticket prices now rising to £30, albeit that is still greatly lower than the cost of a season ticket to watch most men’s football teams, and lower than the cost of most individual men’s Premier League matches.
In an attempt to modernise their women’s team’s ticketing setup, after research informed them that a different group of supporters sometimes attend matches at Kingsmeadow but not always Stamford Bridge or vice-versa, fans will be able to buy three different types of season tickets/packages.
A ‘Stamford Bridge’ package for all four of their WSL games there, a ‘Kingsmeadow season ticket’ for all their other seven WSL home fixture, and/or what’s being called a ‘European matches under the lights’ package.
The west London club’s move comes at a time when women’s teams are trying to find ways to make themselves more financially sustainable as clubs, rather than being reliant on funding from their male affiliate clubs’ owners.
And Chelsea’s move to playing four WSL games per year at Stamford Bridge is along similar lines to Arsenal’s recent decision to increase their WSL fixtures at the Emirates to five WSL home games.
In a statement, Chelsea said the move “reflects the continued growth of the women’s game.”
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