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SBD Global/September 25, 2013/International Football

Spain's Economic Crisis Evident As 'Modest' La Liga Clubs Struggle To Fill Stadiums

La Liga side Atlético Madrid has already received 500 tickets from Real Madrid for Saturday's game at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu stadium, according to Juan Casáñez of AS. These seats will cost €70 ($94) and "will only be available to Atlético fans." Few fans of Atlético will attend "due to the high ticket prices" (AS, 9/23).

CROWDS NOT MEETING EXPECTATIONS: MARCA reported La Liga side Elche "has intensified its promotional campaign for the team's home match against Real Madrid on Wednesday at 10pm." The team is "making its campaign along the coast and in school zones throughout the province with the objective of attracting fans." The "team's expectations are currently not being met." High "ticket prices, Spain's economic crisis and the game being played at 10pm on a Wednesday have decreased the number of fans excited to see Real Madrid's stars." On Monday, from 10am-9pm, "24,487 fans withdrew their seats" (MARCA, 9/24).

OSASUNA DISAPPOINTED: In Madrid, Ciriza and Iríbar reported La Liga side Osasuna, which "on the last matchday earned from the ticket lines half of what it costs to host a game, represents the problems modest clubs have attracting new fans." It could be the "economic crisis, price of tickets, start times controlled by TV or a mix of all those things, but there are facts that raise alarms about the prosperity of La Liga." An example is Osasuna only raising €5,310 ($7,000) on the last matchday, when it costs at least €10,000 ($13,000) to open the stadium. Last Friday, Osasuna hosted Elche and "13,580 fans attended the game, although the crowd consisted of a majority of people who had paid for season tickets, meaning they did not buy individual tickets." Osasuna Dir Ángel Luis Vizcay said, "Other years we had an average attendance of between 15,000 and 16,000 people, but this season it has decreased. The [economic] crisis has an impact." In Osasuna's previous game at the team's El Sadar stadium, against Villarreal, attendance "was only 12,474." It was "one of the worst recorded attendances for a La Liga match in team history, and the single-game ticket revenue was only" €5,380 ($7,000) (EL PAIS, 9/23). 
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