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World Cup ticket prices drop

One could see it coming!   With numerous reports over the past month indicating that ticket sales for the World Cup were not as brisk as they should be, especially from non-South African countries, it has now been announced that prices of category 2 and 3 tickets have been slashed by FIFA, reports the Weekend Argus.

Instead of costing up to R 840 a ticket, category 2 and 3 tickets will now be sold exclusively to South Africans at R 140, on the www.fifa.com website, at FNB branches, or telephonically at 083 123 2010.

Furthermore, the number of category 4 tickets, the cheapest tickets, and offered at a special low rate to South Africans, will be increased, to boost sales, and to ensure that the stadiums are full on match days.   “The plan to discount tickets comes as Fifa admitted that projected inflow of tourists coming to the World Cup would be much less than expected”, writes the newspaper.   FIFA’s General Secretary, Jerome Valcke, told a British newspaper that it was trying its best to get more South Africans to buy tickets.

While the ticket price reductions make the tickets more affordable to South Africa’s soccer fans, those that had bought tickets already are angry that they bought them at the higher prices.  

No arrangements appear to have been made to encourage more ticket sales from other African countries, where soccer fans have complained that technological contraints in booking tickets via the internet, as well as general lack of credit card ownership, are impeding sales in those countries.

WhaleTales speculated that in a “FIFA flop”, ticket prices would drop, and that more South Africans than international soccer fans would watch the matches, a disaster for the hospitality industry, as the accommodation, restaurant, and other related services would not be required by locals, and would not be affordable to many of them, given that pricing had been set at 2010 summer rates + 10 – 20 % for the international market.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com