Ticket prices to watch the reigning WSL champions are going up in time for the 2023/24 season. Perhaps understandably, this recent announcement has caused a stir among some supporters groups who feel the increase was unacceptably high. So, is this the case or will fans still get good value for money when watching Emma Hayes’ team?

The best in the land

An important point to consider straight away is that as many as four Chelsea Women players were named in England’s 2023 World Cup squad. That number would have been five had Fran Kirby not required surgery on a knee injury that has now sidelined her for the showpiece in Australia.

Barring Kirby’s injury, the Chelsea Women’s team usually supplies England coach Sarina Wiegman with the spine to her team, who on the eve of the World Cup, are at just 4/1 in the latest football betting odds to win the tournament.

Indeed, if you bet on Women’s World Cup outright markets then you will see that only the USA at 5/2 is ahead of England as the favourites. The overall point to keep in mind is that the England Lionesses are arguably the best team in women’s professional football nowadays and have relied upon Chelsea players to turn them into the formidable outfit that they are.

It’s indisputable that fans who are regular Kingsmeadow goers get to see some of the world’s best players.

How much must fans now pay to see Chelsea Women play?

Chelsea Women will now play a minimum of seven games at Stamford Bridge this season, this includes four WSL fixtures and all of the club’s Champions League games. The cost of the aforementioned four-match WSL package ranges from £50-£170 for adults.

The Kingsmeadow season package varies slightly with prices ranging from £60-£120 for adults and £30 for concessions. For comparison, the most expensive adult season ticket during the 2022/2023 season was £49.

Why have Chelsea increased the prices?

This is where it gets intriguing given that the simple answer to that question is Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes asked them to. Hayes was vocal about the WSL pricing structure in general and called for the league to be more ambitious with pricing.

In Hayes’ opinion, tickets were historically too cheap which meant that the demand was lower. Perhaps Hayes wasn’t expecting the club to raise them to the extent that they did but overall, the powers that be at Chelsea would have felt emboldened by Hayes’ stance when mulling over their options.

The bigger picture

Considering the price increase, it would serve fans well to take a step back and look at the bigger picture when it comes to the cost of tickets in the game and not just the offerings Chelsea had in place last season.

After all, during the 2022/23 campaign, supporters could pick up a season ticket for a fiver to watch games at Kingsmeadow which amounted to £1 a game. There is a fine line between offering promotional prices and running a business unsustainably – Chelsea erred on the latter.

Even this season, the most expensive ticket will only cost just under £43 a game which is more or less the going rate to watch live football at the highest level in Europe. Meanwhile, there is excellent value to be found in the cheapest ticket which will cost just over a tenner for an adult.

This brings us back to the standard of football that will be on show this season and with Chelsea’s Women’s team packed full of stars, the price increase – while considerably higher compared to seasons gone by, still represents very good value for supporters.

Header image credits:
Katie Chan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons