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Why Are Premier League Away Tickets So High In Demand?

As a season ticket holder at West Ham, and a big football fan in general, it has become increasingly obvious to myself- and notably other fans of football- just how difficult it is to secure tickets to watch your team away in the Premier League. Why is this?

One reason may be what clubs in the premier league require you to have as a supporter to purchase away tickets. The majority of clubs having extensive conditions supported need to satisfy to purchase said tickets. This can include loyalty point schemes, memberships, and previous purchases with the club. At West Ham, they use a loyalty point system, where season ticket holders can accrue points when purchasing away tickets, and home cup games. The more points you have, the more priority you have when purchasing tickets. However, the minimum points a supporter should have if you want to attend most away games is around 25, whereas for every away game, you need at least 40. It goes without saying how difficult it is to collect these points, especially since they are reset every 2 years, with the points you have being from the current seasons and the season before. It has taken me just over 3 years to accrue 23 points, and that still doesn't get me consistent premier league away games. Most of the time I have to go leaps and bounds to get a spare ticket off of someone. For other clubs like Liverpool, one of their conditions is to attend a certain amount of away games the previous year, and seasons before that. For clubs like Nottingham Forest, they have away memberships for supporters, guaranteeing them a ticket for every game. However there is only a certain amount of these and they stopped allowing new membership holders after they were promoted to the Premier League.

It is clear that it is fairly difficult to secure away tickets not just for those starting out, but even for those who are 3-4 years into a season ticket, like myself. Clubs do this as they recognise away days are looked upon highly by supporters and many favour them, and they like to reward more loyal fans who have been a member/season ticket holder for the longest. What is it about away days that supporters love?

We spoke to Nottingham Forest fan, and Woodwork writer George, a Forest regular home and away, asking why away days are as amazing as they are. He mentioned how its the fact that you're with 3000 odd people from where you're from, and they've all got the same belief as you- wanting to win and make all the money and miles worth it. He also mentioned the way fans make a day out of it, travelling to different parts of the country, sharing a pint and a pie with your mates, as well as seeing old faces you see every week.

We also spoke to Callum, lifelong West Ham fan, home and away. Similarly he mentioned about seeing the same faces at away games, and the chats you have with your mates on the way up, whether it be about the game, the team, or just a catch up. He also mentioned how, especially in West Ham's case, the atmosphere at away games is miles better than that of the atmospheres at home games. One reason for this may be because you are surrounded by like-minded supporters who want to travel the miles and spend the money to get behind the team. With this comes better 'limbs' when a goal is scored, and, I can say, first hand, away day limbs is absolute euphoria. Callum also spoke about the opportunity at seeing other cities, which is another great point that many favour towards. He also joked about the fact that away days give you an excuse to get very, very drunk...

As a West Ham fan that has been to many away days, both these boys have hit the nail on the head. The reason why away tickets are so high in demand is being away days are the best days for football fans. The chanting, the drinking, the celebrations, the travelling, and the atmosphere. The reason why they are so high in demand is because everyone wants a taste of what an away day looks and feels like for their club. That's why clubs like to owe this experience to the most loyal fans, but with this comes many years of following before hand, or accruing the most points. Every football fan should experience an away day, but, as mentioned, it is clear how difficult it is to secure a ticket. Clubs like West Ham are moving in the right direction, allowing season ticket holders who haven't purchased a ticket already to enter a ballot for the last 10% of the allocation for most away games, allowing fans who may not have a lot of points to try their luck at getting a ticket. Although the odds are thin, it allows more chances than most clubs. Most other clubs do allow you to enter waiting lists for away memberships, but be prepared to age another 10 years at least before you get to the top.

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