The football club “Orenburg”, playing in the Russian Premier League (RPL), has reduced the cost of tickets to a symbolic ten rubles amid a record drop in attendance after the introduction of access to the stadium only with a fan ID (Fan ID). It is at this price that you can get to the match of the 22nd round with Rostov, which will be held on April 10 in Orenburg.
According to the official website of the host team, there are currently 2,357 tickets on sale at a price of 10 rubles each. For this price, you can purchase a ticket to the central East Stand of the Gazovik Stadium, as well as to the sectors of the lower tier of the South Stand, located outside the gates.
At the same time, the cost of tickets for other sectors varies from 300 to 1000 rubles, although the most expensive ones are no longer available.
In the official Telegram channel of Orenburg, the price reduction is explained by the action and the date of the game, it will be a weekday, Monday. This cost will remain until April 1, after which “regular prices will be established.” The club also urged their fans to draw up a fan card and come to the stadium with it.
Fan ID and attendance drop
The law on the introduction of fan cards, also called Fan ID, came into force in the summer of 2022. You can issue a pass through the public services portal, the site generates a QR code, and the viewer goes to the match through it. From December 2022, without it, you can’t get into any of the stadiums, whose 16 clubs take part in the RPL, the elite division of the national championship.
After the innovation, the attendance of RPL matches dropped significantly. Active fans of most clubs stopped going to stadiums in protest. So, the first round of the league after the introduction of Fan ID gathered the smallest audience in the season: 60.6 thousand spectators came to eight games in total, that is, an average of 7.5 thousand for each match. Such statistics were provided by the Brief Telegram channel. According to the same source, summing up the attendance figures for all matches of the current RPL draw, where a fan ID was not needed, it turns out that, on average, half as many spectators come to meetings where one is needed.
Will the fan ID be cancelled?
Vitaly Milonov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children, believes that “due to the difficulties of obtaining this document, outright legislative contradictions and technical gaps, it can be stated that Fan ID is more of a brake and an obstacle to the development of mass spectator sports than security assistance tool.
In this regard, as Parlamentskaya Gazeta wrote on March 6, the deputy suggested abolishing the system for identifying visitors to competitions, at least temporarily, until the problems in obtaining a Fan ID are resolved. He prepared a corresponding letter addressed to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation also advocates for the abolition: back in June 2022, deputies of the faction submitted to the State Duma a bill on the complete abolition of Fan ID, which received a negative response from the government and has not yet been considered by the chamber. On March 6, one of its developers, MP Sergei Obukhov, proposed, in collaboration with United Russia, to develop a new bill that cancels the passage to the stadiums on the fan card only for domestic competitions, but leaves it for international ones. He announced his proposal in a commentary to RIA Novosti.
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The Committee on Physical Culture and Sports also took care of the problem of falling attendance in the RPL. Its chairman, Dmitry Svishchev, on the same day as Obukhov, announced the need to understand the causes of what had happened. Among the possible factors, he named not only Fan ID, but also “winter, the economic situation in the world and in Russia, lack of interest in matches.” Svishchev called on the Russian Football Union, the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Digital Development to provide information on why spectators began to go to football less often.
At the same time, the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin at the end of November 2022 told RB Sport that the decision to introduce Fan ID had been made and “there is no turning back.” But the problems with attendance, which were already observed at the stadiums where the system was introduced, the head of the department did not associate with the fan card. And in February, in a commentary to the same publication, Matytsin expressed confidence that the difficulties that had arisen with the introduction of the FAN ID could be overcome, and this would not affect the profitability of the clubs.
The head of the Ministry of Digital Development Maksut Shadayev on February 15 at a meeting of the President of the Russian Federation with members of the government announced the issuance of 400,000 fan IDs.
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