Aussie cricket fans have hit out at ticket prices at the SCG after yet another sparsely populated crowd for the second ODI against the West Indies.
In a sign of just how far ODI cricket has fallen down the international cricket priority list, the Aussies crowd at the MCG on Friday stuck out like a sore thumb with just over 16,000 fans making the 100,024-capacity stadium giving fans flashbacks to the dark days of Covid lockouts.
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However, despite the second ODI not falling on a school/work day, there were plenty of blue sets unfilled in the 48,000-seat stadium.
Now there may be several factors in this sight.
The West Indies are not the desirable ticket they were in the 1980s and 90s as many of their top players play franchise cricket around the world rather than represent their nation.
The side didn’t even qualify for the recent World Cup.
Australia is partly to blame as well after choosing to rest many of the side who won the World Cup back in November — in Sunday’s match, only Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood played in the World Cup Final against India, while Cameron Green was part of the extended squad.
Another issue may be the temperature as although the city maxed out at 33 degrees, the humidity at 60 per cent ensured it would be a stick
But social media has also been abuzz with fans slamming the price of tickets for the match.
While Ticketek has the prices ranging from $10 in the E Reserve seats all the way to $65 for A Reserve, the word “from” is doing a lot of heavy lifting.
Those prices are actually the junior (4-15-year-old) prices — with adult prices coming in at double.
It means to get A Reserve tickets, it’s $130, B Reserve $100 and so on down to the E Reserve tickets, which cost $30.
CODE Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy added that there were no activations or merchandise being sold outside the ground either.
Cricket podcaster and broadcaster Paul Dennett took to TikTok and X, slamming the prices.
Posting a video with the caption “Ridiculous ticket prices for today’s game. No surprise, but Cricket Australia really should have a look at SCG ODI prices,” Dennett took aim at the high cost to get a look at the half-strength Aussies.
“Just imagine your kids want to buy a ticket to this afternoon’s one dayer. How much would it cost?” Dennett began.
“At first glance, not too bad …” he added before breaking down the actual prices.
As for the $130 A Reserve tickets, Dennett said that he sat in that section for the BBL Final between the Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat and the only cost $35.
That match had 43,153 fans, the biggest crowd in Sydney in the 13-year history of the BBL, eclipsing the previous record of 41,027 set earlier in the tournament.
Dennett said “if I was being cynical” that although the E Reserve tickets have a tiny allocation as they cover bays 4 and 5 under the scoreboard, “they can then say ‘tickets start from $30, how affordable’.”
Dennett added: “Then you factor in that half the Australian side is being rested, that it’s a meaningless game against an opponent that sadly aren’t a big drawcard, little wonder that they got almost no one to the MCG the other day.
“The SCG crowd today will be poor as well. Now if they made the tickets cheaper, it probably wouldn’t make the crowd too much bigger, but at least it would show good faith for the people that you’re not feeling like you’re being fleeced.
“The people who do turn up to this one-dayer deserve to be treated like royalty, not taken for this amount of money.
Dennett was far from the only critical voice on social media as well.
For those who did turn up, it was a more competitive game than expected.
After Australia won the first match of the series with 11.3 over remaining in an eight-wicket demolition, the Windies fought back in game two.
With Australia debuting Jake Fraser-McGurk and Will Sutherland, the Aussies were in trouble at 5/91.
Aaron Hardie and Matt Short contributed a 51-run stand but after both fell in quick succession, it looked as though Australia would be up against it.
But the tail wagged as Sean Abbott smashed a team-high 69 off 63 balls, including a 57-run stand with Sutherland as Australia set the visitors 259 to win.