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Section for teenagers at Old Trafford

hbLJffNtxxozrge-556x313-noPadOver the past two decades the age of supporters inside Old Trafford has been on a steady increase. According to surveys conducted by the Premier League, the average age an adult match-goer is 41.

Meanwhile, ticket price increases mean that teenagers, whether they are on their own or as part of a group, struggle to afford to attend matches as they have in the past. Whilst the club has already made some effort in reaching out to the youngsters (by introducing tickets of £17-23 for 16/17 year olds and £24-40.50 for 18-20 year olds), more still can be done.

If more could be done to allow teenagers to attend game, it would prevent the negative impact on the development of Manchester United’s next generation of match-going reds, which reduces the matchday atmosphere, which is often more lively when younger fans are encouraged to attend.

BBC Newsbeat and The Guardian have both written articles on this issue already this season.

An area of this argument which may strike a chord with our owners is the potential for future revenue. Given young audiences are keenly sought by major global brands, United is at risk of alienating a key demographic as part of the club’s commercial strategy. This is a rare area where supporters’ needs and commercial reality are very well aligned.

We believe that United should introduce an area at Old Trafford which is designated for teenagers only. The ticket price for this area should be considerably lower than the rest of the ground to encourage take up.

United is already behind the club’s peers in this respect. Arsenal FC have introduced a similar area for 1,000 teenagers, for specific matches, at a cost to the club of just £400,000 a season in revenues. Tickets in this section cost no more than £10. The idea has already been broached with the club but they had several reservations about it, apparently related to issues over stewarding. However, if it can be done in London, there’s no reason why it can’t be done at Old Trafford.

To bring this scheme in at the Emirates, the Arsenal Supporters Trust and the Arsenal Independent Supporters Associated pitched to the club that the 11-16 age were key as they become your potential executive seat or box level or season ticket holders of the future and are captured for life essentially by attending games at that age.

They argued existing ticket rights for people that age through family enclosures get bogged down with adults attending and taking many of the seats or else they rely on full paying accompanying adults taking the kid.

They found there was concern that people of their age would not go alone or be allowed to go alone but they pointed out that in London kids travel the city going to school.

The club at all levels were keen on the idea but did impose some restrictions making it for category B and C games only and not for evening kick offs. They also insisted on a membership structure but that wasn’t expensive.

In the end, the club were pleased to give them an area near the away fans on the lower level behind the goal which is on occasion given over to away fans for domestic cup games so at all levels it worked well.

At this stage it is just in a trial phase for 800-1000 teenagers but there have been no issues as yet.

As United have found with the Singing Section, it has been difficult to find a block of seats together. However, if the club were to trial this teenage section, they wouldn’t need an area of thousands, but hundreds. There could also be the option to have pay on the gate for these teenage members who won’t necessarily have access to credit cards to pay online.

RoM has created a petition to get an idea of what fans think about a section for teenagers. The findings will then be forwarded to the clubs Fans Forum for discussion at their next meeting at the beginning of February.

Please sign the petition and help spread the word on Twitter.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »

 

18 Comments

  1. ys says:

    Great idea. Tickets are sh*t expensive for adults.

  2. ys says:

    Keep the teenage section near the stretford end. Let the atmosphere of stretford end rub off on the kids. Make them future stretford enders.

    Amazingly there was a significant number of young crowd ( early 20s) in the stretford end stands.

  3. OTFaithful says:

    That sounds like a great idea Scott. Something I’d have certainly taken part in if I were still that young!

  4. Tommy says:

    Its ok for some, stupidly expensive football matches now but we pay because we love it!

  5. scholes18 says:

    about time. OT needs to liven up and not only when team is playing well

  6. Fletch™ says:

    Support it, but doubt it will recreate the type of atmosphere older fans grew up with.
    Those days you could move around and try out different areas.

    Also imagine there is no way to make the system safe for a broad range of teen ages, as 14yos-16 are a very different thing to 17-19yos.

    Also how to protect young girls from even slightly older “teens”. Doubt you are thinking about girls here, but as a dad of one, it is something that needs considering.

    Good idea, but would need loads of monitoring for todays parent.

  7. The One says:

    ys, great idea!! :)

  8. Fletch™ says:

    Man United transfer policy under Moyes & Woodward explained:

    Nani #17 OUT
    Hamsik (Napoli #17) IN

    Anderson #8 OUT
    Gundogan (Dortmund #8) IN

    So numerology to sort transfers? 8O
    Could it be that simple? :lol:

  9. Fletch™ says:

    Transfer Update: Cruzeiro have turned down a bid from “an english club” for Everton Ribeiro

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9117711

    Hmm, still wondering how Ribero gets a work permit ?!

  10. Tommy says:

    @Fletch

    I did think that at first mate, but thinking about it with him being Brazilian player of the year he might get one for being a special talent

  11. Fletch™ says:

    In other news: United rumored to be back in for Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana after todays shake up at So’ton.

    Tommy, Agreed. Could happen, but don’t you think we would want to know this ahead of time?

  12. Tommy says:

    @Fletch

    Yea I can see us doing a deal last day of window only to be told he cant get a work permit! That would sum up the farcical transfer windows!

  13. Fletch™ says:

    Tommy, Actually hoping you were interested in my numerology theory :lol:

  14. Tommy says:

    @Fletch

    If only it was that easy replacing numbers for numbers, Speaking of Hamzik, Moyes is apparently at the Napoli match tonight and was at the PSG match last night, seems to be doing a European tour, His poor wife never sees him these days lol

  15. Gary Mitrovic says:

    I see Chelsea have already gone out and spent 20 plus million on a player the manager wanted. A bloody shame out club can’t back out manger in the same way. Another window that’s gonna pass by while we hear the same noises like “no value” “hard to do business in January” yea? Not for Chelsea obviously.

  16. Fletch™ says:

    Gazetta dello Sport claim Sunderland has been contacted by Manchester United about former Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/manchester-united-bid-vito-mannone-3024021

  17. m09538061 says:

    Some of citys latest quotes we have the best squad ever assembled in england.We will win the quadruple.Our support is the best.
    Answers to the above your squad is the most expensive ever yet you are not top of the table.We won the TRE3LE you talk of winning things come back when you win a treble as for your support you charged 20 quid against blackburn and still had thousands of empty seats.Big money little club !

  18. Tommy says:

    @Fletch

    I think their False rumours, United play Sunderland and Fulham in the coming weeks hence why their was people watching that game, Nothing in it I would have thought

    @m09538061

    City couldnt sell out my local, shit fans!

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