Despite a rise in fees to attend Saturday’s Varsity match between Edinburgh and St Andrews, the crowd exceeded 10,000 people.

The President of the Athletic Union Tom Abbott has cited an imbalance with Edinburgh University as being the motive behind increased ticket prices for the annual varsity Rugby match.

On Friday September 21, Mr Abbott informed The Saint that ticket sales had exceeded 10,000 in number and were set to climb with sales at the on the door.

In contrast to previous years, St Andrews students were charged for advance purchase tickets to the 2017 Scottish Varsity Match. Entry has formerly been free with the optional addition of a paid bus ticket, but this year students were charged £5 for a ticket without transport.

Mr Abbott commented, “the reason we’ve put ticket prices at £5 this year is to encourage Edinburgh to commit a cost to the day as well. In previous years, with tickets being free, Edinburgh would bring all of their cohort along and potentially not contribute anything to what is a hugely expensive event to run.”

Though students may be disappointed by the change, Mr Abbott defends the fare set by the AU, stating, “we reduced the cost of the bus tickets to the game so that St Andrews students don’t feel the effect of this. The overall price for a bus ticket and a game ticket is £11 (compared to £10 last year), so in reality only a £1 change.”

He also pointed out that tickets purchased at the turnstiles were £5 last year and have remained at that price.

The annual Scottish Varsity Match is over 150 years old and remains an historic highlight of the academic year. The fixture suffered a hiatus during the 1950s but was revived in 2011 at the Richmond Athletic Ground in London, intended to improve alumni connections. The game’s eventual return to Scotland in 2015 was met with celebration and it has been hosted at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium ever since.

St Andrews were unable to replicate the victories of previous years with the men’s team losing to Edinburgh 31-7.

The St Andrews women’s team also lost to Edinburgh scoring only one try to eventually finish down 53-5.

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