Tickets to next summer's World Cup in Brazil will cost approximately 10% more than tickets to the 2010 event in South Africa, officials from FIFA and Brazil's local organizing committee said Friday.
International 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. The announcement of ticket prices was supposed to be made last month but Brazil was rocked by massive public demonstrations during June's Confederations Cup tournament, a kind of dress rehearsal for the World Cup.
In an apparent nod to the demonstrators, who were protesting the country's massive expenditures -- estimated at $13.4 billion -- 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.
According to Luis Fernandes, Brazil's deputy sports minister, the idea of discounted tickets for the elderly was "initially resisted immensely."
"That was a major achievement," he said of overcoming that opposition.
In addition, 60,000 free tickets will be distributed to those who did construction work on the World Cup stadiums.
"These prices are extremely competitive," Thierry Weil, FIFA's marketing director said at a news conference in Sao Paulo. "I hope FIFA, together with the local organizing committee and government, has proven to be reasonable when it comes to prices, especially for an event which is the biggest sporting event in the world."
Tickets to the opener will sell internationally for between $220 and $495 while the minimum price for the final is $440. Tickets to the final in Johannesburg three years ago went for between $400 and $900.
More than a million tickets for the group stage will go on sale worldwide Aug. 20 with prices ranging from $90 to $175. If they are not all sold by Oct. 10, a second sale will be held in November.
Playing venues for the 32 qualifying teams won't be known until the final draw is held Dec. 6, after which a third phase of ticket sales will be held.
Approximately 3 million tickets will be available in all, with about 700,000 reserved for international fans.
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