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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 March 2019

Manchester United keep season ticket prices frozen as plans to improve Old Trafford atmosphere develop

Club working with supporters to introduce a dedicated atmosphere section in Stretford End

Manchester United's fans celebrate with goalscorer Romelu Lukaku at Old Trafford on Saturday during the win over Southampton. United have announced season ticket prices will remain unchanged for the 2019/20 season. Reuters 
Manchester United's fans celebrate with goalscorer Romelu Lukaku at Old Trafford on Saturday during the win over Southampton. United have announced season ticket prices will remain unchanged for the 2019/20 season. Reuters 

Manchester United will freeze their season ticket prices for an eighth consecutive season in 2019/20. Prices surged in the 1990s and late noughties, but this will be the ninth price freeze in 10 years.

United have limited the number of season tickets to 53,000 in the 76,000 capacity Old Trafford, with the club claiming they have a waiting list of 100,000 for season tickets.

United are also working with fan groups to improve the long derided Old Trafford atmosphere.

Largely successful trials for vocal sections have been held since 2013 and, from next season, the club state that “a dedicated atmosphere section in the Stretford End first tier is being created”.

Richard Arnold, Manchester United Group managing director said: “The support from our fans and the atmosphere they generate is incredible, so we’re delighted to be freezing season ticket prices once again in recognition of that.”

United’s match day demographic has aged, but the club will continue to have a raft of concessions, including £10 (Dh48) per game season ticket prices for Under 16s in dedicated areas.

There will also be half-price tickets for other under 18s, with 25 per cent discount for 18-20 year olds.

There will be a fixed price of £15 per game for 18-25 year olds in the Stretford End Lower, with the club mindful that younger fans tend to make more noise, especially if they are stood together.

Several of these concessions came after discussions with MUST, the United supporters’ trust.

The club’s attitude is a reversal of that in the 1990s and noughties, when an executive section of seating was placed in the middle of the Stretford End, traditionally the vocal heart of United’s support.

While the football was superb and Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were England’s pre-eminent force, excessive ticket prices further alienated fans.

Old Trafford went from being one of the most atmospheric grounds in England to one which suffered, like other big English stadiums, after the all-seater requirements of the Taylor Report.

By working with fan groups like The Red Army, the noise is returning. The fans run their own sections and aim to bring young vocal fans together so they can get behind their team in a co-ordinated fashion. United also support an introduction of safe standing areas at Old Trafford.

The club also announced in November 2018 that new accessible seating options for disabled fans would be introduced around the stadium, providing a choice of price points and viewing positions.

In total 118 new wheelchair positions and 158 new amenity seats will be created, bringing the total for both to 278.

Further development and a capacity increase of Old Trafford has been discussed and plans exist, but no time frame has been put on it.

Updated: March 5, 2019 04:05 PM

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