Sports: Young People

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 27th November 2017.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment her department has made of the severity of the financial obstacles to youth attendance at professional sporting events; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The cost of attending live sport for all ages is something that must be kept under constant review, and we support a fair deal for fans, but respect that ticket-pricing policies should remain a matter for event hosts.

The Government's sport strategy, Sporting Future, recognises how attending live sporting events can benefit individuals, communities and the wider sporting economy. Ten major sporting events supported by UK Sport saw over 1.1 million people attend in 2017, including the IAAF World Championships in London, where over 100,000 children under 16 attended at a ticket price of £9.58, signifying Usain Bolt's 100m world record. The World Para Athletics Championships similarly saw over 100,000 schoolchildren attend, with 30,000 children being transported free of charge by Transport for London as part of a two session ring-fenced school project. The men's and women's World Series Triathlons held in Leeds in June also attracted over 50,000 spectators who were able to enjoy the events for free.

Football clubs are also offering concessions on ticket prices and associated costs for all fans, including younger supporters, which the recent BBC Price of Football 2017 study highlighted. Overall, English Football League (EFL) figures show that junior season ticket sales have increased by 37% over the past 10 years with 20% of all EFL club match attendees now under 16 years old. Premier League clubs agreed last season to cap the cost of away tickets to £30 up until 2019, and clubs are helping more with concessions on travel.

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