Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tickets for 63 (!) Matches Still Available

With 500,000 tickets to the South Africa 2010 World Cup still unsold ... Fifa is showing some wit here and selling them the way South Africans are most likely to buy them.

Only took Fifa a year to figure this out.

After foreigners didn't buy in the numbers Fifa and organizers expected.

After Fifa insisted on selling the remainder to South Africans over the internet -- when many South Africans have no access to the web.

Did anyone actually think this through?

So, now, retail stores in malls in South Africa will sell World Cup tickets over the counter. For cash.

As the story in the Johannesburg Times notes, South African soccer fans are not always walking around with a major credit card in their pockets. Nor are they likely to buy a year ahead of an event. They don't have that kind of money to send into limbo.

They apparently prefer to buy their tickets late, in cash, and with 500,000 tickets left for an event that begins in barely eight weeks ... maybe it's time for Fifa and local organizers to sell some tickets the way that South African fans are most likely to buy them.

The most shocking stat in the story? The contention that tickets still remain on sale for every match of the tournament, aside from the final.

Yes. Read that again.

You can still buy tickets to any match in the tourney that isn't for the championship. All 63 of them, including ... the opener between the hosts and Mexico ... the other two South African matches (vs. France and Uruguay) ... the three matches involving Brazil (including the matchup with Portugal) ... the three matches involving Spain ... and the England-U.S. match on June 12.

Fairly astonishing.

About now, if I held a batch of tickets that I paid full price for a year ago, when these final 500,000 tickets, many of them, are going to be sold over the counter in South Africa for $20 ... well, I would feel like a sap. A sucker.

This is going to be the all-timer World Cup for fans who just drop in, last minute. A country awash in cheap tickets, an average of 8,000 or so unsold for 63 matches involving the best teams in the world ... and you can walk up to a counter and hand over $20 and go see England and the U.S.

Crazy. And inviting, for anyone with can get a flight and has some time off in June.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good, aside from the eight murders a day, and all the kill-whitey sentiment.