We received plenty of feedback to our prior column on the New Japan/Rev Pro show – with quite a lot of that feedback focusing on ticket prices. Now those shows are over, let’s take a deeper dive into the ticket prices of live wrestling.

Now, unlike the BBC’s similar “Price of Football” survey, we’re not factoring in things like the cost of getting to shows, as this varies for everyone. After all, when we hit OTT earlier this month, the cost of us getting to Dublin was a lot higher than for the usual crowd who live there. We’ll not be touching on things like drinks or merchandise either, since both of those are optional (and one of those are usually countered by a trip to the nearest Wetherspoons beforehand!)

Promotion Venue Ringside Ticket (or highest price) Standard Seating/GA (£) Standing Ticket (£)
3CW Dolphin Centre, Darlington £18 £16 NA
3CW Grand Astoria, Middlesbrough £18 £16 NA
4FW Emersons Green, Bristol NA £10.50 NA
4FW O2 Academy, Bournemouth £46 £21 £11
Anarchy Pro Lock 17, Camden, London £15 £12 £10
ATTACK! Frog & Fiddle, Cheltenham NA NA 16
ATTACK! Cathays Community Centre, Cardiff NA £16 NA
Battle Pro Livesey Memorial Hall, London £15 NA £12
BEW Tooting & Mitcham FC, London NA £16.75 NA
Defiant Northumbria Student’s Union, Newcastle £44 £22 NA
Dragon Pro The Neon, Newport £20 £8 NA
Fight Club Pro Starworks, Wolverhampton £22.50 £15 £15
Frontline Stratford Circus, London £40 £28 £15
FutureShock Longfield Suite, Prestwich £16.75 £13.45 NA
FutureShock Fairfield Social Club, Manchester £22.25 £13.45 NA
GOOD Craufurd Arms, Wolverton NA NA £12
Grand Pro Wrestling Rose Club, Wigan NA NA £8
ICW Glasgow Garage NA £21 £18
ICW O2 Glasgow £29 £26 NA
ICW SSE Hydro, Glasgow £45 £34 £34
IPW Knole Academy, Sevenoaks £12.50 £9 NA
IPW Unit 9, Milton Keynes NA NA £15
IPW Frog & Bucket Manchester £25 NA £15.50
IPW Casino Rooms, Rochester £35 £16 NA
London Lucha League Resistance Gallery, London NA NA £5
NGW City Hall, Hull £29 £14 NA
NGW Memorial Hall, Beverly £21 £11 NA
NORTH Riverside, Newcastle NA NA £12.50
OTT Tivoli, Dublin NA € 30 € 20.50
OTT Arena, Suir Road, Dublin NA NA € 33
OTT Ringside Club, Dublin NA € 14.65 NA
OTT National Stadium, Dublin € 71 € 28 NA
Pro Wrestling CHAOS Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre, Bristol £22.25 £12.50 NA
Pro Wrestling EVE Resistance Gallery, London NA NA £20
Pro Wrestling EVE Walthamstow Assembly Halls, London £32.50 £20 NA
PROGRESS Electric Ballroom, London £30 £25 £19
PROGRESS SSE Wembley Arena, London £55 £35 NA
PROGRESS The Dome, Tufnell Park NA NA £19
Rev Pro Cockpit, London £15 NA NA
Rev Pro York Hall, London £57 £18.70 NA
Rev Pro Milton Keynes Ice Arena £82.50 £20 NA
Riptide Brighthelm Centre, Brighton NA NA £25
Sacrifice Pro Cedars Upper School, Leyton Buzzard NA £7 NA
Southside Corporation, Sheffield £25 £14 NA
Southside Irish Centre, Birmingham £16 £11 NA
Southside Meadow Lane, Bedford £25 £15 NA
Southside Priory Centre, St. Neots £25 £15 NA
Southside Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage £35 £16.50 NA
TIDAL Temple of Boom, Leeds NA NA £15
TNT Pro Fusion, Liverpool NA NA £11.25
True Grit Low Moor Club, Bradford NA £10 NA

Notes: 1) for shows/venues where seating is offered, but on a first-come, first-served basis, we’ve listed tickets as standing, rather than GA, and general prices rather than VIP options where offered; 2) Ticket prices are listed for adults, rather than any child/senior citizen/other discounts, if offered; 3) These prices are indicative – if a promotion has listed a variety of shows at the same venue, such as PROGRESS’ Dome shows, we’ve gone for the higher prices.

So, looking at a over 50 different promotions/venues, there’s a few things that stand out: to a certain degree, there really isn’t that much of a North/South divide when it comes to ticket prices. If you just want to get into a show, £20 will get you to just about any show – only Defiant, ICW (away from the Garage in Glasgow), OTT’s non-Contenders shows and PROGRESS’ Wembley show will fall outside of that particular budget.

Of course, the recent announcement of NXT UK skews things a little. At time of writing, tickets weren’t on sale for the TV tapings in Cambridge, Plymouth or Liverpool, but we were able to get a handle on the price ranges, with tickets going from £29 all the way up to £56.50, plus those lovely booking fees and charges. So… a little higher than the average ticket price, but lets see how that all compares to a handful of companies from the US:

Promotion Venue Ringside Ticket (or highest price) Standard Seating/GA (£) Standing Ticket (£)
AAW 115 Bourbon Street, Merrionette Park $50 $20 NA
AAW Knights of Columbus, LaSalle $25 $15 NA
AAW Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago $60 $30 $30
Beyond Melrose Memorial Hall, Melrose $40 $20 NA
CHIKARA CHIKARA Wrestle Factory, Philadelphia $30 $20 NA
CZW Colosseum, Voorhees $40 $20 NA
EVOLVE 2300 Arena, Philadelphia $50 $20 NA
NOVA Pro Jewish Community Centre, Fairfax $25 $20 NA
PWG American Legion Post #308, Reseda $100 $80 $80
ROH 2300 Arena, Philadelphia $75 $30 NA
SHINE Orpheum, Ybor City $41 $25 NA
WWE/Raw TV Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena,
$500 $35 NA
WWE/SmackDown TV Amway Arena, Orlando $500 $20 NA
WWR CHIKARA Wrestle Factory, Philadelphia $40 $30 NA

Comparing the numbers we’ve used above, from our selection of promotions the “average” front row ticket price in the UK is a shade over £30, with general admission seating £17 and standing (where offered) £15. Compare that to the States, not including WWE, where ringsides average out at $48 (£36) and general admission at $27 (£20)… if you include WWE, those figures skew up to $112 and $27.50 respectively.

Without comparing any of the more local socio-economic factors, like general population, affluence, employment rates and the like, these price comparisons are only a small part of the picture here. Very rarely will you get two shows the same, with transportation costs varying within a certain range (unless you’re 1PW and flood your shows with fly-ins)… but at the same rate, most promotions don’t wildly vary their ticket prices on a show-to-show basis. Those promotions tend to have their formula and stick to it – maybe one or two international names, some folks travelling from across the country, and some local names, with the more expensive travel costs perhaps shared with other promotions, particularly in the current era where the same promotions tend to run on the same weekend (we’re looking at those three-day stretches of Riptide > OTT > Rev Pro).

So, what does this show? If you exclude the outliers that are TV shows, generally speaking indies in the States seem to be “one size fits all”, with the $50/£35 price range being the accepted norm for the top prices – a bar that a lot of the UK indys are limboing underneath. Is there room for price rises? That depends – those socio-economic factors play a huge role in things, and while promotions that are already struggling to fill their venues at £15 a ticket may well balk at the very idea of pushing prices up… but in an era where more and more wrestlers in the UK are going full time, with costs for venue hire, production, security and just about everything that moves increases, it may well just be a matter of time before something’s got to give.

Shorter shows, lower quality, or higher prices? We probably won’t be able to have our cake and eat it for too much longer…