Former England captain Michael Vaughan has slammed Lord’s for the “astronomical prices” charged for tickets to the first Test against New Zealand, saying fans were being priced out amid a cost-of-living crisis.
The first Test of the English summer at the ‘Home of Cricket’ begins on Thursday but hundreds of tickets are still up for grabs for the first day.
Tickets for adults are priced from 50 pounds ($63) up to 160 pounds ($201) and Vaughan said it was ‘scandalous’ that Lord’s could get away with charging the same price as a season ticket for England’s domestic competition, the Hundred.
“It drives me bonkers when I read about ticket prices and Lord’s has not sold out the first Test of the summer,” Vaughan, who captained England in 51 Tests, told the Telegraph news site.
“If Lord’s is going to continue to charge these astronomical prices then they should be under threat from other grounds who will not charge as much.
“You can’t keep saying, ‘we are Lord’s, we need two Test matches a year’ and then charge over 150 pounds in the holidays, during the (Queen’s Platinum) Jubilee and during a cost-of-living crisis.”
Vaughan blamed the administrators for not being “streetwise enough” and said it was time to give back to the fans, especially as they look to return to normal life after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are the one country that generally sells out Test cricket,” he added. “One of the reasons we are successful at selling Test cricket is because people want to watch it. So, don’t out-price them. Just read the room.”
Lord’s owners, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), said they recognised that the most expensive tickets were available at a “premium price” but believe it “represents good value”.
“With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee double bank holiday weekend also taking place, we have seen a reduction in our usual expected attendance numbers,” the MCC told Reuters.
“However, sales remain strong for the opening two days of the match and across our other international fixtures this year, with our India ODI being sold out.”
England have managed only one win in 17 Tests and will begin a new era under newly-appointed skipper Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.