Cricket fans preparing for tomorrow’s One Day International match between England and the West Indies at Kensington Oval are up in arms about the cost of tickets.
Locals and visitors alike are complaining about the “absolutely absurd” prices of between US$75 (BDS$150) and US$135 (BDS$270) for the third and final match of the series, which England has already won.
When Barbados TODAY visited Kensington Oval this afternoon, a few visitors were purchasing tickets, but there were no locals around.
Although they grudgingly bought the tickets, many of the visitors complained that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) was “being ridiculous” with the prices.
Gary Davenport, who is visiting Barbados for the first time specifically for the game, said he was shocked at the cost.
“They’re pretty steep to be honest with you. I was in India in December and it was like half the price of a One Day here for a five-day test in India. So it’s pretty expensive. We are in the Party Stand so it’s even more expensive. We paid US$135 and that’s almost as much as it is to watch cricket in England. I was very taken aback by the prices. Antigua was only $35. It made me kind of think twice. This is my first time here, but I watch England often around the world,” Davenport said.
However, the visitor said he was going to make the most of the game.
“But it is what it is, we are out here, we are not going to just sit around. We are going to enjoy the time. I expect it will be fun tomorrow though; we will get some rum punch and make the most of it. I think having the locals around would make it more fun though. Everyone we have met so far have been so nice, it’s the friendliest place we have ever been to,” he added.
Alex Beirne, now on his second visit here for cricket, said he and his friends had to settle for a different stand since tickets for the Party Stand were way too high.
“The Party Stand is quite expensive so we are not going in the Party Stand this year . . . . We came two years ago for the test match and it was US$75 to go in the Party Stand, now its US$135. We came down specifically for the game, so we will make the most of it,” Beirne said.
However, he said it simply would not be the same without the locals around.
“I think the locals add to the overall atmosphere. It’s great to sit with them and have a good day. I don’t know with these ticket prices and it’s also a day in the week, I’m not expecting much of them at all, sadly,” he added.
Bob Branch, who is also here for the second time for cricket, said he was not expecting many locals to come out, which would take away from the overall atmosphere.
“I think tomorrow will still be enjoyable though. This is my favourite place to watch cricket. I expect to see more visitors than locals tomorrow, unfortunately. The local guys really add to the atmosphere. It adds to the overall entertainment,” he said.
“I find the tickets are too expensive this year. I’m really surprised by the price. It was only $20 a day for the test match two years ago, now its US$75 and that’s a bit over the top . . . and that such a shame because that means that a lot of locals who love the game won’t go. I think they’re just trying to make as much money as they can at the game,” the visitor said.
Barbadian Don Alleyne, an ardent cricket fan, was among those who purchased tickets for the match. However, he still felt the tickets were much too pricy.
“The tickets expensive because it’s England and it’s one day. This is the most I’ve ever paid for a ticket. People come to cricket whether it’s Monday, Tuesday or whenever. The day doesn’t really matter. If the score was tied, I think more people would come to the final match. But I think they catered for the visitors more so than the locals this time around,” Alleyne said.
Another local, David Haynes, said he was deterred from buying a ticket because of the cost, as well as the state of the game.
“I’m not going tomorrow. The tickets are too expensive and the game isn’t worth going to now. England already won the series. I think the prices should have been dropped now. They catered only for the visitors. Apart from World Cup, I’ve never seen the ticket prices this high,” he said.
However, WICB’s Senior Communications Officer Adriel Richard said ticket sales were good, with 9,500 of the 11,000 on offer already taken up before match day.
Richard said there were 300 tickets available to Barbadians at BDS$75, but in order to take advantage of this special price purchasers had to present some form of Barbadian identification.
He said tickets prices were not expected to drop tomorrow.