Published : 2013-08-21 20:15
Updated : 2013-08-21 20:15
SAO PAULO (AP) ― It was a frenzied start to FIFA’s attempt to fill the stands for next year’s World Cup in Brazil as fans applied Tuesday for more than 1 million tickets in just seven hours.
But it will be some time before they know whether they’ll be among those lucky enough to get seats to football’s signature quadrennial event. Officials say applicants won’t hear back until October, after FIFA holds a random selection draw on all the requests.
More than 163,000 people requested the tickets online for the 64 World Cup matches being held in Brazil.
The website of football’s governing body FIFA showed that there were more ticket applications than the number of seats available in all four price categories for the opener in Sao Paulo and the final at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.
Demand was also high in all price categories for the semifinals, and 39 of the 64 matches had too many requests at least for the cheaper category, available only for Brazilians.
FIFA said the highest amount of applications so far has come from Brazil, Argentina, the U.S., Chile and England.
“The respective ticket product is already heavily oversubscribed and therefore, at that point in time, the success of the application appears very unlikely,” FIFA said of the high demand categories. “There are vastly more ticket applicants seeking tickets than there are tickets presently available for the general public.”
Prices for the final will go from $440-$990, although Brazilian fans will pay $165 in the cheaper category. Brazilians over the age of 60, local students and members of some social programs will be allowed to pay about $82 for a ticket. Prices for the opener in Sao Paulo go from $220-$495, with Brazilians paying $80 and discounted tickets costing $40.
About 500,000 tickets in total were set aside for the category available solely to Brazilian citizens.
Applications quickly started pouring in after tickets went up for grabs at 1000 GMT Tuesday. Some fans had to be placed in a virtual queue “due to an exceedingly high demand for access to the ticketing page,” FIFA said on its website.