Age Scotland has urged the Scottish Football Association to provide discounted over-65’s tickets to help fill seats following a “half empty” Hampden Park this week.
The charity, which supports people over the age of 50 and promotes their rights and interests, said it noticed that less than half of the 51,866 available tickets for the Euro 2020 qualifying match against Belgium on Monday had been sold.
According to the Herald Scotland newspaper, the SFA said concession ticket prices for over-65s is one of several options that are under “serious consideration” for future campaigns.
An adult full-price ticket costs between £27 and £30, with no discounts for those over retirement age, though junior tickets start at £8.
Sloan said, according to the Herald: “We’re disappointed that despite repeated pleas, the SFA still does not offer a discount to older fans. This week’s half-empty stadium for a Euro 2020 qualifier match clearly illustrates this is an own goal for the SFA.
“Many older people have been loyal fans all their lives, but struggle to afford full-price tickets on their pensions. With tens of thousands of tickets unsold for major international matches, the SFA is missing an opportunity to fill the stands.
“This would also be a step in the right direction towards tackling loneliness among older people. Around 200,000 older people in Scotland regularly go a week without speaking to anyone – the equivalent of four full Hampden Park stadiums.
“A more inclusive pricing structure would make it easier for older people to enjoy a night out at a game, and encourage younger fans to bring an older friend or relative. We’d also love to see the SFA working with more community groups, such as walking sports clubs and veterans’ groups, to offer discounts.
“This would be a win-win situation, boosting attendance while rewarding lifelong fans and reaching out to the wider community.”
A Scottish FA spokesman said: “The Scottish FA is committed to ensuring that Scotland matches are accessible to loyal Scotland fans.
“Scotland supporters can attend Scotland Women’s National Team and Scotland Under-21s matches for only £5 per person.
“While ticket prices for men’s internationals are set at the start of each qualifying campaign, prices are constantly reviewed and concession ticket prices for over-65s is one of several options that will be under serious consideration for future campaigns.”
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