Disappointing student turn out for six quid special

It was a disappointment not only on the field, where the side lost 3-0, but also in the stands when around 30 students turned up to see Carlisle United clash with Walsall, despite the discounted student tickets.

The University of Cumbria and Carlisle College teamed up with Carlisle United at the back end of last month to bring a fantastic offer to students. Tickets for the Blues home game with Walsall on the 26th February were a snip at just £6 in a move the Cumbrian League One side hoped would boost attendances.

The team have struggled on the field this season and attendances have dropped to an average of just over 4,000 which is significantly less than last year.

Carlisle United is a one club city but despite this, getting people to attend Brunton Park matches is a problem which has provoked the need to look for new ways to open the club up to new audiences.

Though the majority of students at University of Cumbria support other teams it was hoped that by making it more affordable, students would be enticed to come and watch a good standard of football.

Physical Education student Brad Patterson, who is a Liverpool fan, has been to three games since coming to the University of Cumbria in September 2011 but none this season.

With the Blues currently in the bottom half and struggling for consistency, he believes it’s more to do with the way the team is playing than anything else.

“Yes, cheaper tickets would be nice but I think the team have to actually be playing well to make it worthwhile.”

Brad also thought the student offer was a good idea but admitted he knew nothing about it.

“I think it’s a good idea but they would probably have to do a lot more advertising for students to know about the offer. There is nothing at the Fusehill campus letting people know about when the next home match is or anything. People need a bit of encouragement.”

Another Physical Education student at the University and long-time Leeds United fan William Barclay said he took a very keen interest in the club for a number of reasons but time constraints had a big effect on his ability to attend matches.

“Although I don’t support Carlisle, I do still take an interest in their results because they represent the city in which I live and study. An increase in their stature due to positive results would directly affect the city’s economy and create a feel good factor among locals.

“The main reasons I don’t attend the games are usually time restraints. I’m often away or doing things on Saturday afternoons and I suppose for some students, although the tickets aren’t that expensive, it may be an unnecessary expense they cannot afford.”

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