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SBD Global/October 3, 2013/Finance

Many La Liga Clubs Struggling To Fill Stadiums As Spain's Economic Crisis Takes Its Toll

Spain's economic crisis "has not left football's side," according to Sara Massa of EL CONFIDENCIAL. Although "Real Madrid and Barcelona are managing millions, the rest of the teams are trying to confront debts and be up to date on their accounts." One measure that some clubs have taken is "lowering prices of tickets for this season." The best example has been Villarreal, "which has offered its cheapest season tickets for a La Liga season in franchise history," starting at €100 ($136). Despite this, "stadiums are still grieving, with many empty bleachers." Teams "are beginning to show their concerns." Some, like Osasuna and Getafe, have "assured that it costs more to open their stadiums than they are making on ticket sales." The clubs "are attributing small crowds to new, nontraditional game times imposed by TV schedules, but the price of tickets is also not helping to fill stadiums." Though "prices have dropped, it remains difficult" to see a La Liga game for less than €20 ($27). The exception on "the most recent matchday was at Valencia, where the cheapest ticket" for the club's game against Rayo Vallecano cost €5 ($7). Recently, the cheapest tickets were €25 ($34) for "Valladolid-Málaga, Real-Sevilla, Celta-Elche and Espanyol-Getafe matches." The most "expensive seat was for the Real Madrid-Atlético derby," which cost €235 ($319). These prices "have little in common with prices for other European competitions." Without "going any further, Wednesday's Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen-Real Sociedad Champions League match" offered tickets ranging from €8-€42 ($11-$57). This "is typical in the Bundesliga, where there are rarely empty seats." The Spanish Football League (LFP) has "confirmed that attendance was better in August of this year than it was last year, but added that it still has to take many steps to better fill stadiums" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 10/2).   
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