No ticket sales on arrival at Badminton 2022: event director explains why…

  • Badminton Horse Trials’ organising team has shared fresh details on the changes visitors and fans can expect for the 2022 event (4-8 May).

    A new entrance, advance tickets only and a hybrid of paid-for and free BBC coverage are the headline changes for the Gloucestershire five-star, which returns for the first time since 2019 this year.

    Event director Jane Tuckwell told H&H the decision to have advance tickets only is one that the team has been considering since the 2019 event, when the event was almost at capacity on the Saturday.

    “The last two years cemented this decision as many events are now ‘tickets in advance only’,” she said.

    “There is no limit on the number of tickets that each person can purchase, but if we reach full capacity it gives us the ability to stop sales and not disappoint people if they arrived at the gate with no tickets.

    “If tickets are available, the final sale date is midnight of the day before the relevant one. The “no tickets at the gate” will be strongly enforced.”

    It is hoped that the decision will also help to speed up entry into the park. A new entrance, leading to an existing car park, will also open for the first time this year with the same aim.

    Jane added that the box office is already busy and encouraged those thinking of coming to “book tickets in good time”. Priority booking opened on 5 January and general booking, which is open to all, opens tomorrow (12 January).

    “There is excitement amongst all, the team at Badminton, those buying tickets, owners and riders, tradestands, contractors, volunteers and [commercial director] Andrew [Tucker] and myself cannot wait to deliver our first Badminton,” said Jane.

    She also gave further details on the commercial decision to put the livestream behind a paywall.

    The two-hour BBC highlights and final results show will remain free to watch. But Saturday’s live cross-country, previously shown for free on the BBC red button service, will now be shown exclusively on Badminton TV, along with the other phases. Subscriptions cost £14.99, rising to £19.99 from 1 April, and the competition will be available to watch live and on demand worldwide.

    “Badminton Horse Trials is solely responsible and pays for the production of the programme, which in turn the BBC contributes towards,” said Jane.

    “The margin between production cost and the contribution is getting wider as the years pass. Badminton knows how important it is to our viewers to continue to provide the ‘top class’ production, but to sustain this the time has come that we have to ask payment towards the livestream.

    “The production and livestream teams are the same as they have been at Badminton for several years so both are well tested.”

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