Calls made for abolition of season tickets after Bundesliga no-shows

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Sports economist Dominik Schreyer has stated his belief that season tickets should not be sold as the Bundesliga continues to deal with fans not turning up to matches.

Last month’s fixture between RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt, both sides that are fighting for Champions League qualification, was reported by the home team to have 45,867 spectators in the stadium.

Despite the apparent near sell-out, swathes of seats remained empty as it is thought that many had bought tickets but decided against turning up.

Schreyer, who researches and teaches at WHU Düsseldorf, is one of a handful of people around the world who investigates spectator no-shows scientifically.

Speaking to Die Zeithe said it is inevitable to have some absences but feels season tickets should not be offered.

“I am convinced that the high share of season tickets tends to inhibit both innovation and investment in the stadium experience product,” he told journalist Fabian Held.

RB Leipzig claimed to have an average attendance of 96% in 2023 but empty seats in the last home games of the year against Heidenheim, Swiss club BSC Young Boys, and Hoffenheim gave a different impression.

The announcer at the 47,069-seat Red Bull Arena stated the number of tickets sold instead of the number of fans in the stadium.

The problem can also be seen for almost all other teams around Germany’s top division of men’s football.

Some season ticket holders are said to use their pass as a guarantee of having a place at important matches while skipping other games against lesser opponents or in bad weather.

RB Leipzig managing director Johann Plenge said the club is considering implementing a reward programme to incentivise fans to attend at least 16 of 17 home matches in a season.

These rewards would include special events such as meetings with players.

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