Watford formulated their pricing structure for the potential FA Cup quarter-final tie at Arsenal to enhance the prospect of taking a club record away following to a game outside of a cup semi-final, final or play-off game.
More than 6,000 Watford supporters have travelled to the Etihad stadium and Stamford Bridge in recent seasons but a following of 9,000 to the Emirates stadium on Sunday, March 13 would, we believe, represent their biggest ever away support outside of the four FA Cup semi-finals and the 1984 cup final.
The club have agreed to subsidise prices in the upper tier for the game at the Emirates which is renowned as possibly the costliest place to watch a game in England. In fact, assistant referee John Brooks was, in January 2013, sanctioned for telling Manchester City’s players, including Joe Hart, they should be thanking their fans – instead of shaking his hand at the final whistle – for paying through the nose to watch the Premier League game. “They’ve paid 62 quid over there, go and see them,” he said.
The cost of a ticket in the upper tier for the possible quarter-final tie will be £36.50 for adults (subsidised from between £43 and £52.50), bringing the cost of admission into line with the lower tier. The club agreed to accept the maximum 9,000 allocation, which they were permitted under the 15 per cent of the home team’s capacity rule for FA Cup games, knowing that the sale or return option would only be applicable to the circa 5,100 seats in the lower tier.
Accepting the additional circa 3,700 seats in the upper tier also potentially gives those fans who missed out on tickets for the league game at the Emirates on Saturday, April 2 – the remaining tickets of that 3,000 allocation are due to sell out today – the chance to watch their team at Arsenal’s home ground.
We put the rough cost of the FA Cup subsidy and the bill for any unsold tickets to the club at around £50,000. Club officials have also opted to lay on coach travel for a £1 to either the Emirates or the 360-mile round trip to the KC Stadium. A cost of hiring a coach is thought to be around £800.
Hull host Arsenal in the fifth-round FA Cup replay on Tuesday and tickets will be on sale online from 10pm