Student Struggles – The Expensive World of Live Sport

Travelling to watch live sport isn’t exactly student friendly as Marco Bell found out this Tuesday at Wembley, but Norwich has a welcome alternative.

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Is it financially viable for a student to travel to watch live sport without leaving a huge hole in their wallet? The simple answer is no. Having been down to Wembley this Tuesday to watch England’s win against Poland courtesy of two free tickets acquired by a friend I was still left wondering where all my money went.

Train fares, unless booked in advance, can get pretty nasty especially when heading down to London. We managed to get a advance return for £18 – the cheapskate I am, I found this particularly satisfying. The guys next to us weren’t so lucky and were staring down the barrel of a £40+ single.

Arriving in London we were welcomed by an extra £6 for off-peak tube travel. Three pints and a meal later we’d spent nearly £18 in a Leicester Square pub, even with the Steak Tuesday’s deal. The train ride up to Wembley Park was spent fending off a supporter offering us something to ‘heighten the experience’ of the game whilst helping him remember the name of a UB40 track. We never did get it.

By the time we’d reached the stadium, taken the never-ending elevator to our designated level and received our tickets refreshments were well in order. But can £5.45 for a Carlsberg in a plastic cup really be vindicated? We took the plunge and didn’t even get time to fully enjoy our classy pint with the game approaching and the rules stating no alcohol can be taken to your seats.

A quick up and go saw us make the first tube back towards Liverpool Street but by then the post-booze hunger was kicking in. With a little time to spare before the last train home the thought of a Wasabi (Japanese sushi and noodle takeaway) had its chance to grow on us. In fairness you get a huge portion, so UEA students looking for a good deal whilst they wait for their connection, forget the average Upper Crust and go for a Wasabi.

All in all I spend somewhere between £40 – £50. This was without having to pay for a ticket to see an England international which would take me near enough to £100. Football grounds spare little thought for students, rarely offering discounts on tickets but Norwich City are an exception.

If you want to watch Premier League football right here in Norwich there is an extremely cheap option. The UEA Football Supporters’ Society, which can be joined for £25, offer the chance to attend home matches for free in return for helping out around the ground before kick-off. It’s money well spent with the possibility of seeing at least three or four games, an opportunity to play at Carrow Road and a club membership card included. When you consider that a standard ticket alone would cost you over £25 the society is your best way to cut costs.