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Ticket prices: Arsenal costliest

LONDON -- Arsenal continues to have the most expensive ticket prices in the Barclay's Premier League. The team's most expensive match ticket was 126 pounds ($203.27), while a season ticket costs 1,955 pounds ($3,153.65), according to a BBC survey released Thursday.

Arsenal's cheapest season ticket is 985 pounds ($1589.79) and the most expensive is 1,955, although that includes seven FA Cup or European games in addition to the standard 19 Premier League matches.

The cheapest season ticket belongs to Wigan at 255 pounds ($409.65). Manchester City was second at 275 pounds ($441.79).

By comparison, in the NFL, the New York Jets have the highest average, nonpremium ticket price in the league at $117.94 and the Boston Red Sox have the highest average for a nonpremium ticket at $53.38, followed by the New York Yankees at $51.55.

The NFL average ticket price was $77.36 last year, and baseball's was $26.92. It was $57.10 in the NHL and $48.48 in the NBA in their previous seasons.

The cheapest tickets in English soccer's top four divisions have increased by an average of 11.7 percent since last season, more than five times the rate of inflation.

The BBC survey showed the average price of the cheapest match ticket in the Premier League has increased from 24.87 pounds last year to 28.30 pounds ($40.10 to $45.60) this year, an increase of nearly 14 percent. This was in stark contrast to the Consumer Price Index, one measure of inflation in Britain, which stood at 2.2 percent in September.

In the United States, NFL ticket prices for the 2012-2013 season were up 2.5 percent over the previous season while Major League Baseball ticket prices remained flat for 2012 for the first time in two decades.

The cost of watching soccer could drive young fans, according to Football Supporters' Federation chairman Malcolm Clarke.

"If you compare prices to other countries like Germany there are huge disparities. Season tickets at (Bundesliga champions) Borussia Dortmund start from 225 euros ($295) which includes three Champions League games -- that works out at about 8.90 pounds ($14) per match and includes free public transport," Clarke said. "In comparison our prices are simply unacceptable."

Newcastle offered the best overall value in the Premier League for a day out, charging 23 pounds ($37.10) for a ticket, a program, a pie and a cup of tea. A day out at Arsenal with the cheapest ticket would count 34.30 pounds ($55.10).

The most expensive cup of tea is in Manchester, where both City and United charge 2.50 pounds ($4.02).

Last month, Borussia Dortmund supporters protested Bundesliga ticket prices by leaving the stands at Hamburg. Two years ago, Borussia fans started the "Kein Zwanni" movement protesting 20-euro tickets ($26). The campaign against ticket-price hikes by Bundesliga clubs began with a boycott of the local derby against Schalke and, for the first time in years, that match failed to sell out.

Information from The Associated Press and Press Association and ESPN's Darren Rovell was used in this report.

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