WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2013 — Do not expect too see many empty seats at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Tickets for the 64 games are in heavy demand and over a six million requests for tickets have already been received in the first round of sales, which came to an end Thursday October 10. After Brazil, fans from Argentina and the United States are demanding the most tickets.
Empty seats at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa became a news story.
About 3.3 million seats will be available for next year’s event hosted by Brazil, which won the tournament in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002, and it is heavily favored to win it again in 2014.
According to FIFA, a total of 6,164,682 ticket equests have been tallied with 70 percent of the requests coming from Brazil. Fans from over 203 different countries have applied for tickets with the opening match in São Paulo (726,067 requests) on June 12, and the final at the famed Maracanã stadium (751,165) on July 13 the most in demand.
With ticket demand clearly exceeding supply, FIFA will conduct an electronic random selection draw for the various matches. Fans will be informed if their application was successful by Nov. 4 at the latest.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, about 400,000 tickets will be reserved for Brazilians at discounted prices, with the cheapest costing around $13.
FIFA said fans must have enough funds on their selected payment method to cover the price of their purchased tickets as the money will be deducted immediately once the tickets have been successfully allocated. If a payment transaction is not successful, the ticket application will be automatically rejected and will be reallocated to other applicants.
The highest number of ticket applications were made by residents in Brazil (4,368,029) followed by those from the USA (374,065), Argentina (266,937), Germany (134,899), Chile (102,288), England (96,780), Australia (88,082), Japan (69,806), Colombia (55,379), and Canada (49,968).
The most popular ticket package on average was category 4, which allowed an applicant to apply for a maximum of four tickets per match for a maximum of seven games. FIFA says it will do its best to place the seats adjacent to each other.
The most popular destination for fans buying tickets is São Paulo Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba.
The ticketing sales for tickets will reopen on Nov. 5 and will then remain open until Nov. 28. During this sales period, tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
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