Almanac AFL Fan Issues: Round 1 ticket pricing analysis from the AFLFA

The AFL Fans’ Association sent us this press release today. It is published here verbatim. We have not tested the accuracy of the stats used – but we have no reason to doubt them. Here it is:



Some clubs lift Round 1 reserved seat prices by up to 42 per cent



Some AFL clubs increased Round 1 reserved seat prices by up to $20 each and in one case by 42 per cent, which the AFL Fans Association says is excessive and prices many fans out of good seats.


The AFL introduced dynamic pricing, which allows home clubs to lift or reduce reserved seat prices up until game day, in 2016. It restricted increases to $12 in $3 increments. It now appears that clubs can increase prices by up to $20 in increments of up to $5.


GWS lifted prices for Sunday’s UNSW Canberra Oval game against the Western Bulldogs by up to $20; the dearest was $105. Most prices at the ground were also $5 more than those advertised on the official AFL tickets seat pricing guide. GWS also increased general admission prices (see next page), which are not supposed to rise under dynamic pricing.


Hawthorn increased prices for Saturday night’s Collingwood game by up to $17. Level 4 rose from $40-$57 (42%), Level 4 wing front from $50-$67 (34%), Level 1 wing/goal and Level 2A wing/goal $65-$80 and Level 2 goal/wing $73-$88 (20.5%). This meant that by game day, the cheapest reserved seat was $57. The crowd was 58,051.


AFL Fans Association President Gerry Eeman praised the AFL for keeping Melbourne general admission prices at $25 for adults, $17 concession and $5 for juniors, but says reserved seat prices are becoming prohibitive for many fans.


Gerry says the system is too expensive. “If the AFL has removed the $12 increase cap, it needs to tell fans.  Transparency is a must.” Gerry says. “Is the increased cap now $17 or $20 as advertised at the GWS game, or more? For all we know, the cap could have been removed completely.” The AFL did not respond to requests from the AFLFA to clarify whether the cap has increased.


Gerry says “Most reserved seats are already expensive, with some nudging $100. Many fans who don’t know the original prices probably don’t even realise clubs are increasing ticket prices in the lead-up to games. It’s a growing trend since ‘dynamic pricing’ was introduced in 2016. When ‘dynamic pricing’ was introduced, the spin to the public was that prices were going to increase and decrease in equal measures over the course of the season. However, in 2017 dynamic pricing was used to increase prices in 85 per cent of cases. This year looks like more of the same.”


Home teams and venues set reserved seat prices for each game. In Round 1, the following movements were noted compared to AFL ticket guide prices that were released in early March.


  • Richmond v Carlton, MCG. Level 4 seats increased from $40-45.
  • Essendon v Adelaide, Etihad Stadium. No change.
  • St Kilda v Brisbane, Etihad Stadium. Three price categories increased by $4-5, while one fell by $8.
  • Port Adelaide v Fremantle, Adelaide Oval. No change.
  • Gold Coast v North Melbourne, Cazaly’s Stadium. No change.
  • Hawthorn v Collingwood, MCG. Prices increased in nine of 10 categories by up to $17.
  • GWS v Western Bulldogs, UNSW Canberra Stadium. Ten of 11 categories increased by up to $17 on the official price guide and $20 at the game.
  • Melbourne v Geelong, MCG. Seven categories up by up to $10.
  • West Coast v Sydney, Optus Stadium. No change.


 For more information contact: AFLFA president Gerry Eeman on 0403 938 484. Email: [email protected] or [email protected].



  1. bring back the torp says

    Dr L Frost et al, from Monash, in 2015 did a study of VFL attendance factors from 1920-1970. He found the GA Outer (ie not Grandstand) ticket price was generally c.1% of the gross Basic Wage, set by the Arbitration Commission. This appeared to have been a deliberate policy of the VFL.

    The concept of the Basic Wage ( a husband could support a wife & 2 children in basic, but liveable,, comfort & accomodation) was based on the findings of the famous Justice Higgins 1907 Harvester Judgement of the Arbitration Commission).
    In 1970, GA adult tickets to VFL games in Melb. were 90 cents. A decade later, c.$2.

    Now called the Minimum Wage, it is about $700 pw. I believe it is harder for working class/low income fans to afford to pay (in Melb.) at least $25 for a GA ticket. Housing costs/rent etc, utility costs are very expensive now, cf. the Minimum Wage -but the affordability of some other things is better now eg cars, electronic equipment, plane travel etc.

    Stadium facilities are FAR more comfortable now, cf. the dumps that were most VFL grounds around 1970. Fans can bring their own food, so I am not comparing the current , expensive food & beverages at AFL grounds.

    I would like to see a cheap ticket -perhaps $12 Adult GA- for the last 10 Rows at the back of the highest Stands. The AFL must ensure that attendance at AFL games can still be affordable for low income fans.

    AFL CEO G. McLachlan was paid c.$1.74 gross in 2016. It is disappointing that, for the first time in 14 years, the CEO gross total annual wage will not be revealed in the AFL Annual Report. I suspect (but have no evidence) this may be due to sensitivities over the the Tasmanian Disaster, & the state of GR AF there.

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