Wembley are to axe 5,000 hospitality places at a cost of approximately £15m per year after an ‘alarming fall in demand’ blamed on the national team and ‘fall in status of the FA Cup’.
There are presently 15,0000 Club Wembley seats available which offer fans VIP seats and hospitality for all England home games as well as the FA and EFL Cup finals (and FA Cup semi) and Community Shield with priority booking for other events thrown in.
Tickets were initially sold on a 10-year basis which started in 2007 and those agreements finish this year.
An official told the Mail on Sunday, “The 5,000 (downgraded) seats will become a stripped back ticket option. They will be segregated from the rest of Club Wembley and will have no access to restaurants or the other main benefits.”
When Club Wembley tickets first went on sale they cost £10,800 per person, per year. They can now be found for anywhere between £1,750 and £9,000 with other discounts available.
In accounts that were released recently, Club Wembley tickets made up 15% of the FA’s revenue – £55.5m of their £369.7m turnover.
The accounts also show that the cost of new Wembley is closing in on £1billion and is still rising.
The cost of the stadium was £757m and the FA have paid an additional £238.4m in finance costs on loans. Debt on the stadium still stands at £195m.
For comparison, the Emirates cost Arsenal £390m to build. Tottenham’s new stadium is expected to cost them around £750m, double initial estimates.