Tickets are cheaper than fans think and women’s sport is “on the rise” according to findings from Ticketmaster’s State of Play report, a nationally representative study of 12,000 people’s attitudes towards sport in the UK.

According to the report, tickets are cheaper than fans think, with people believing that the second biggest barrier to attending a match is a perceived lack of cheaper tickets. One in five football fans said they would attend a match if prices came down – but the transactional data seemed to show a different story altogether.

Football fans said that they were willing to spend between £30-£59 on a single ticket; in real terms, however, the average amount spent on a single ticket was between £11-£29.

The report also found that three in 10 sports fans said they would be “likely to attend” a women’s match in 2019 as its profile continues to increase.

Younger age groups are three times more likely to purchase tickets to a women’s event, and more likely to be under 35.

Fans have called for more exposure on TV to help maintain engagement, with almost two thirds of adults open to embracing growing women’s sports, as well as men’s.

Adam Newsam, managing director of Ticketmaster Sport, said: “At Ticketmaster Sport, we’ve been on the front row of some of the world’s most exciting sports events in the last 25 years, including World Cups for football, cricket and rugby, and are determined to play our part in making the live experience even better for the next generation of fans”.

“This year’s report reveals some fascinating trends as the UK sporting landscape adapts to changing times and attitudes. We’re seeing the important role family plays in getting young people into sport and becoming fans, while the once sacred concept of supporting one team for life is shifting. We’re also seeing continuing challenges in the visibility of women’s sport in the UK, which we are keen to help address positively.”

Tina Mermiri, director, research & digital analytics, Ticketmaster International, said: “This is our sixth State of Play report looking at significant areas of the live event and ticketing experience, demonstrating our commitment to understanding our audiences and supporting the many industries in which we work.

“Our 2018 report is the largest and most comprehensive yet with a sample of 12,000 lifting the curtain on what people in the UK really think about sport in this country, with complementary analysis from our database of over 100 million ticket purchasers and transactional data from sports clients. This in-depth comparative study between football, cricket and rugby fans highlights macro and micro trends, from an unexpected love of Bovril to hardcore football fans, coming together to form full picture of the sporting world, its challenges and opportunities”.

 Image: Steve Daniels