Tony Rowe defends season ticket increases at Sandy Park
EXETER Chiefs chairman Tony Rowe has defended increases in season ticket prices, insisting they are an inevitable result of the team's success on the field.
A central family season ticket of one adult and one child in the South West Communications stand has gone from £545 to £590, while the same for the East and South West terraces are up from £440 to £480. The same family ticket on the ground has gone from £345 to £375.
The price announcement was made after being brought forward following the news that expected redevelopment work on Sandy Park was being postponed for 12 months.
Rowe insisted that such price increases were inevitable, with costs such as player contracts and utilities increasing year-on -year.
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"The reality is that it is maybe the cost of the success we have had in recent seasons," said Rowe. "We were mindful of the fact we have had to put in some minor price increases and that is inevitable I'm afraid.
"Inevitably, our costs on things such as utilities and players will increase year-on-year so we have had to put up the costs in certain other areas.
"You can't sit down with a player who has come to the end of his two-year contract and say 'you can have exactly the same amount of money that you have had for the last two years'."
Not all prices have gone up – those in some areas of Sandy Park, such as either wing of the South West Communications Stand or either bays A and D of the North terrace, have not changed.
Existing season tickets are also guaranteed a first refusal in their current location until the close of business on April 1, while a new payment plan means payment for season tickets can be spread out over four months.
And Rowe pointed to such concessions as proof that fans' interests had been taken into account.
"Although I am chairman of the board and the board approved the price changes, I was not on the sub-committee that was targeted or challenged with a small increase in ticket income," he said. "We have been very, very mindful of the fact that we live in a collective market place and we've actually frozen tickets in a number of areas.
"Certain areas in the ground have seen a price freeze as well, meaning they have not increased in two seasons now."