With mere days to go until the A-League starts, we thought it would be a good idea to look at the price of memberships for the 11 Australian clubs.
For clarity, we looked at what was the cheapest option for an adult to go to all 13 home matches for their club.
In alphabetical order:
Youth (13-17): $170
Child (5-12): $65
At $259 for the year, that works out to be just under $20 a game for the season.
It gives you access to any seat except in the main stand at Hindmarsh, in the active support area (which is the same price but just in a separate category) and the away end.
Junior (4-16): $70
Brisbane Roar have decided to move their 13 home matches this season to Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe which is about a 40-minute drive from the centre of Brisbane and about an hour-and-a-half on public transport.
The atmosphere at the boutique stadium, which holds just over 11,000 people, is considered to be better than an often less-than half-full Suncorp Stadium, however it will be interesting to see whether the change causes a drop in members or attendance.
At $15 a game for an adult, Roar are offering one of the cheaper entry level price points in the league.
However, they haven’t been helped by the fixture list; with every match they play at home between December and March - the hottest months of the year in Brisbane - kicking off some time between 3pm and 6pm.
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
The Mariners are offering the second cheapest entry level option in the league. However this makes sense given they’ve had the lowest average attendance of an Australian team every season since 2014.
At just over $12 a game for an adult, it works out to be a very affordable option.
However, if members are to stay on, they will surely need to see an improvement from a team that have finished bottom of the league in four of the past five seasons and haven't made the finals since 2014.
Macarthur have made some impressive signings for their inaugural season and could very well be one of the best teams to watch this season.
However, they have made some eyebrow-raising choices when it comes to their membership prices.
Of the three Sydney teams, Macarthur have the most expensive entry-level option for an adult for all 13 matches.
At just over $21.50 a game, it’s far from outrageous, but as a new team it is an interesting decision to make yourselves more expensive than Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.
It’s actually over double the Wanderers’ entry-level option which is $130 for adults and $70 for juniors.
Perhaps the strangest move the club have made is to make the active supporters area, The Bullpen, initially $440 - just under $34 a match - though they’ve now dropped it down to $335 - just under $26 a game.
Most clubs make their active supporters area their equal-cheapest option. It makes sense to keep active support prices low as that section of fans almost always create the most noise and dictate the atmosphere of the stadium.
A-League active support is a huge point of difference from all other sports in this country.
Some fans say participating in active support can often be more fun than watching the actual game.
So it remains to be seen how this high price point affects Macarthur’s active support in their first season.
The Wanderers are one of the few teams that charge their active supporter area more ($340) than their general admission section - however, over the years there has been a relatively high demand to be in that section at Wanderers matches.
Another issue that will no doubt frustrate those in The Bullpen is their location at Campbelltown stadium. Instead of being placed behind the goal, which is where almost all other A-League clubs place their active support, they will be near the corner flag.
Macarthur are yet to respond to questions put forward by SBS The World Game about their membership pricing.
Melbourne City have gone in the opposite direction to Macarthur, with their active supporter section their cheapest option for all 13 matches.
City’s general admission option is the same price, however it does not include the Melbourne derby, and should City fans want to attend the Melbourne derby, they will have to “upgrade to a reserved seat at the price of the Ticketek booking fee,” according to their website.
City’s junior prices are the cheapest in the league.
Melbourne Victory’s membership option is hampered by the COVID-19 impact on Melbourne.
Therefore, the club have decided to offer a significantly cheaper ‘base’ membership.
According to Victory’s website: “All memberships will now be sold as a base supporter into General Admission and Premium Reserved seating areas. You can then purchase tickets to home games of your choice via a ‘pay as you go’ ticketing model with a member discount of approximately 50% – and free tickets for base member juniors!
“Only members with a base supporter membership will have access to purchasing tickets to home games through the ‘pay as you go’ ticketing model. Should the venues be subject to limited capacity, members with a base supporter membership will get first priority to purchase tickets."
The option probably makes a lot of sense given Victory’s popularity, and the current stadium restrictions that say you can have “75% of the venue’s seating capacity, up to a maximum of 5,000 people seated,” in Victoria - this will likely change as the season progresses.
Newcastle are offering a very competitive $185 membership - that works out to be less than $15 a game.
However, with less than a week until the start of the season the club still does not have a permanent head coach.
Several reports have indicated that the club’s owner has not put any money into the club in over a year.
How that will impact on the field remains to be seen.
Perth have the most expensive entry-level membership in the league.
However, looking at the other sporting codes, Perth-based clubs are often the most expensive in the league. West Coast Eagles were the most expensive in the AFL, while Perth Wildcats were the most expensive in the NBL.
At just over $27 a game, Glory’s cheapest membership might seem like a lot compared to the other clubs but it is cheaper per game than the other codes, and the club have not raised their prices for a number of years.
It’s also worth noting, that of all the cities with A-League sides - Perth had the highest ‘median weekly income for full-time workers’.
Active: $295 Adult, $225 concession.
A-League champions Sydney FC's cheapest option comes in at just over $20 a game.
While it’s the third-most expensive membership compared to other clubs, the fans have certainly been rewarded with plenty of on-field success over the past five years.
Sydney FC CEO Danny Townsend recently told SBS The World Gamethat they were up to about 13,000 members with two weeks to go until the season started.
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Active: $340 Adult, $270 concession, $180 junior.
Western Sydney have the cheapest per-game entry-level membership in the league. Family Zone Adult works out to be $10 a game.
It can be even cheaper. If you’re registered to a grassroots club from any of the Wanderers’ partnered associations in Western Sydney, you get an additional 15% off which works out to be $110.50 in total for all A-League matches. $8.50 per match.
“The club was in a position to offer the Family Zone membership as an entry-level membership type for anyone who is interested in football,” the club’s membership team said via a statement.
“The Family Zone membership has always been our cheapest package for adults, kids and families. Off the back of COVID-19 and the year that was, we decided to decrease the price further as we understand the position a lot of families are in at the moment and we want to give them something to look forward to on the weekend."
Interestingly, if you want to be part of the famous Red and Black Bloc - Western Sydney’s active supporter group - the cheapest option is $340. That’s $45 more a season than it is to be a member of Sydney FC’s The Cove.
Western United’s offering is slightly higher than Melbourne City’s and it remains to be seen how it will exactly compare to Melbourne Victory’s base membership model. At just over $18 a game, it is still cheaper than Perth, Adelaide and all three Sydney teams.
If you do want to attend all of Western’s home matches, you’ll be travelling around a bit with the club set to play four home games at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, four at AAMI Park near Melbourne’s CBD and two at Ballarat's Mars Stadium.
Two more matches are yet to be confirmed, but the club say they hope to head to Tasmania.
Western’s inaugural season on the field can be considered a success, but the club will be desperately hoping to drive more memberships off it.