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SBD Global/July 22, 2013/International Football

FIFA, Brazil LOC Announce Special Discounted World Cup Ticket Category For Brazilians

Tickets for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be 10% higher than in 2010.
Officials from FIFA and Brazil's LOC said that tickets to next summer's World Cup in Brazil "will cost approximately 10% more than tickets to the 2010 event in South Africa," according to Kevin Baxter of the L.A. TIMES. Int'l fans will have to pay as much as $990 for a seat at next July's final, "while the cheapest tickets for a group-play game" will sell for $90. In an apparent nod to the demonstrators, who were protesting the country's massive expenditures -- estimated at $13.4B -- "on the World Cup rather than on healthcare, education and other public service, a special ticket category for Brazilians was established." Locals will be able to buy tickets to any of the 47 group games, "excluding the June 12 opener in Brasilia featuring Brazil," for as little as $30. The elderly, students and people receiving social benefits "will get a further 50% price reduction, which will allow some Brazilians to attend matches" for as little as $15. Brazil Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes said the idea of discounted tickets for the elderly was "initially resisted immensely." Fernandes said of overcoming that opposition, "That was a major achievement." In addition, 60,000 free tickets "will be distributed to those who did construction work on the World Cup stadiums." FIFA Marketing Dir Thierry Weil said, "These prices are extremely competitive" (L.A. TIMES, 7/19).

DISCOUNTED TICKETS: In N.Y., Cowley & Jelmayer wrote Weil said, "This will be the second time in FIFA's history that there will be discounts on certain tickets. This had only happened in the 1950 World Cup, also held in Brazil, showing that Brazilian government is a good negotiator." Nonetheless, "prices are considered expensive in Brazil." Despite strong growth and relative economic stability over the last two decades, "Brazil remains a relatively poor country," and the average salary is around $835 per month, about one-quarter of the U.S. monthly average of $3,583 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/19). BLOOMBERG's Tariq Panja wrote entry to the opening game in Brasilia, "which will feature Brazil, the host and record five-time champion," will cost between $220 and $495. Visitors "wanting to attend the final" will have to pay a minimum of $440. That compares with $400 for the final of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg, "where the most expensive entry cost" $900. The games "were the first in the country's history to assign seats to spectators used to arriving at stadiums and choosing where to sit, or stand." The World Cup "will be an all-seated event." The income from ticket sales "will go toward the hosting costs." In South Africa, revenue from tickets amounted to $300M after FIFA said it sold 97.5% of the 3 million seats available. Some spaces remained empty "after sponsors and other FIFA partners failed to take up their seat allocation," which amounts to about 20% of the total available (BLOOMBERG, 7/19).

'NO SURPRISES': The BBC reported the FIFA ticket website "will include a map of the ground that shows the location of different categories of tickets." Weil said this meant there would be "no surprises" over where fans would end up sitting. Supporters "can request a maximum of four seats per match, and for a maximum of seven matches." Weil said that there would be a reselling system run by FIFA "if people were unable to attend games for which they had bought tickets" (BBC, 7/19). The AP reported tickets for the World Cup "will be sold globally from Aug. 20 on fifa.com." The first sales phase ends Oct. 10, "and a random draw will allocate seats for oversubscribed matches." A second sales phase opens Dec. 8, "after the 32-team draw is made and the match schedule confirmed." FIFA said that an additional 450,000 tickets "have been reserved for a corporate client program," which FIFA licensed to MATCH Hospitality for $120M. FIFA said that "the total number of available tickets will not be finalized until the 12 stadiums are completed" (AP, 7/19).
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