Commentary

World Cup ticket pie gets sliced into thin pieces

By Paul Kennedy

FIFA announced the ticketing policies for the approximately 3.3 million tickets that will be available for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The cheapest tickets for public sale outside Brazil will be $90, while ticket prices will go as low of $15 to Brazilian students and senior citizens and those who are a part of the Bolsa Familia welfare program.

But of those 3.3 million tickets, the public will only be able to purchase 1.1 million. The rest of the tickets will be sold as part of travel packages or go to organizations that have some connection to FIFA or the World Cup, including participating teams whose federations will be able to distribute a limited number of tickets to their own fans.

Ticket Prices:
Category 1: $175-$990
Category 2: $135-$660
Category 3: $90-$440

Ticket applications for up to a maximum of four seats per match and a maximum of seven matches -- no more than one match a day -- may be submitted Aug. 20-Oct. 10 at fifa.com after which a lottery will be held to determine who gets the tickets if there are more requests for tickets than available tickets.

A second phase will begin Dec. 8, two days after the World Cup draw, and continue through Jan. 30 for fans to request a maximum of four seats per match and a maximum of seven matches for the team they want to follow. Once again, a lottery will be held to determine who gets the tickets if there are more requests for tickets than available tickets to follow a certain team.

Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis after each phase of ticket allotments for unfilled blocks of tickets -- if that happens.

FIFA's distribution of tickets is in part dictated by Brazilian laws requiring local citizens have access to affordable tickets.

In addition to a guarantee of up to 300,000 discounted tickets in the lowest Category 4, up 1 percent of all available tickets must be offered to disabled customers.

Tickets for the disabled have been set at Category 3 prices, and disabled fans can request a complimentary ticket for a companion who will accompany them to the match.

Ticket Allotments:
GENERAL FANS:
701,079 International & Brazilian public (Categories 1-3)
400,000 Brazilian public (Category 4)

TEAM FANS:
390,364 Supporter groups
(8 percent of available tickets will go to fans of each team and sold and distributed by their federations.)

TRAVEL PACKAGES:
445,500 Hospitality

FEDERATIONS:
201,541 FIFA, continental confederations, non-participating federations
119,742 Participating federations (including Brazilian federation)

OTHERS:
605,191 Sponsors
(about 80 percent are used for promotional purposes.)
131,591 Complimentary
(including tickets available to those accompanying disabled fans.)
100,000 Government and stadium workers
71,425 Media
66,273 Broadcast partners
59,918 Local organizing committee
41,900 FIFA VIPs

ESPN PICKS UP SUMMER TOURNAMENTS. ESPN has acquired rights to three pre-season tournaments, including the Guinness International Champions Cup in the United States.

FOX Soccer holds the English-language rights to the Guinness International Champions Cup, but ESPN picked up the Spanish-language rights (ESPN Deportes) and digital rights (WatchESPN).

ESPN also will air the Audi Cup (Bayern Munich Manchester City, AC Milan and Sao Paulo) on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN and the Emirates Cup (Arsenal, Napoli, Galatasaray and Porto) on ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.

FRIDAY NIGHT MEXICAN SOCCER. ESPN Deportes will be broadcasting Liga BBVA Bancomer MX matches on most Friday nights during the Torneo Apertura. ESPN2 will also carry select games in English-language this year.

La Previa MX featuring Jorge Ramos, Hernan Pereyra and Ricardo Mayorga will air 8 p.m. ET each Friday ESPN Deportes carries a match.

For Sunday Liga matches, Futbol Center will be the lead-in show, airing at 12:00 p.m. ET, while Futbol Picante with analysis of Mexican soccer will air at 2 p.m. ET and midnight ET, beginning on Monday.
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