Government subsidizes cricket prices

WICB Commercial Manager, Nelecia Yeates.
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The government’s move to subsidise the price of tickets for next month’s Test match between West Indies and England has resulted in low daily prices for local fans.

This is according to West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Commercial Manager, Nelecia Yeates, who said locals wishing to attend the match slated for April 13-17 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds (SVRCG) will pay only $30 per day.

“They want their local fans to come out, so the government has subsidised the cost which is why we can offer such attractive cricket prices to the local fans; however, the UK fans who are desirous of buying their tickets, they want to be able to sit behind the bowler’s arm; they want to buy their tickets before it goes on sale so they are paying for that privilege,” she said.

“They want to sit in large groups, they want to be able to promote they are associated with the matches, so their ticket prices includes a license fee in order to benefit from those privileges; so that’s where the disparity is,” she added.

Concerns had been raised in some quarters about the disparity in prices for advance ticket head of the International Home Series.

A release from the WICB revealed that the regional board had appointed seven official United Kingdom tour operators for the England tour of the Caribbean, offering a number of travel packages which include the right to pre-sell tickets only for the series. Tickets for the series are not being sold online.

Despite the concerns, however, Yeates announced that sales have been good thus far.

“So far we have sold 1,000 season tickets and a season ticket is five days in that package. We are looking at an average daily attendance of 2,000 plus people and that includes the locals that would have bought tickets in the last two days. We have only been open for two days and we have gone beyond 2,000 daily tickets, so within the next three weeks we anticipate we should have some strong numbers in Antigua,” she said.

The WICB rep credited a number of key figures and organisations for the smooth flow of the preparations to date.

“I must say thank you to the government of Antigua & Barbuda because they have established a local organizing committee chaired by Natalie Clarke White and she has been doing a fantastic job. We also have an open door relationship with the Hon Minister of Sports, Mr Chet Greene and his personal assistant Debbie Collins,” Yeates said.

“The Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association has contracted the services of Robertine Frederick as their Test match coordinator and she has been doing a fantastic job,” she added.

The second Test will be held in Grenada from April 21-25 while the third Test will run from May 1-5 in Barbados.

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