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Ticket availability

August 21st, 2005 by · No Comments · Football, Tickets

…to the people who really want and appreciate them. Re-reading All Played Out by Pete Davis, a timely reminder of the vicious [that?s the Press not the fans] build-up and first round of Italia 90, one of its main themes is the army of fans who were forced to travel without tickets due to the FA having too few and bungled the delivery of the ones they did have. On arrival they are besieged by touts, who seem to have plenty, and many fans are able to buy tickets, albeit at inflated prices, as they walk up to the stadiums before each game. The unlucky ones have to stand outside the stadiums or retire to bars to watch it on TV.

For a lot of fans this has always been a way of doing the World Cup on the cheap, but it can often become a false economy, especially if you?ve travelled all that way just to watch the games in a bar. You could have stayed at home and hired a sunlamp and, if Pete Davis?s account of Italia 90 was anything to go by, saved on a few evenings in casualty.

An increasingly popular way to take in what for many is a once in a lifetime experience is to let someone else take care of the logistical headaches. Quite a few companies have emerged that offer football travel packages building on the popularity of Italian and Spanish football over the last 10 years. You can buy a weekend trip to Barcelona for the Real match with flights, hotels, match tickets and a bit of hospitality thrown in. It?s not cheap, but for the lucky few it?s a no headache weekender to one of Europe?s great cities, taking in one of footballs great club games at arguably its finest stadium.

These packages have steadily increased in popularity since they started with the Italian league [always fancied the Milan derby myself] and now include games across Europe and of course the Premiership. Anyone who attends Highbury on a regular basis can?t have failed to notice the knots of Scandinavian ?day-trippers?. It has even caught on in Scotland with thousands making the ferry trip from Belfast for the Rangers/Celtic ?clash?. Admittedly the pursuit of the beautiful game may not be the key motivation, although it could be argued that it is quite likely to be a once in a [foreshortened] lifetime experience.

The FIFA scheme for distributing tickets for the 2006 World Cup is based on a pre-scheduled series of five limited releases in a first-come, first served basis. The 3 remaining selling periods are 1 December 2005 to 15 January 2006, 1 February 2006 to 15 April 2006, and 1 May 2006 to 9 July 2006. Single tickets are on offer in four price categories. The cheapest tickets for group stage matches cost ?35 while the most expensive seats at the group stage cost ?100. Tickets for the Final start at ?120 and run to ?600 if bought directly from FIFA.

There are 2 avenues to obtaining tickets, firstly, the grandly named FIFA World Cup Ticketing Center [or FWCTC], based in Frankfurt, which operates as the principal seller of tickets to the general public worldwide. FIFA has also allocated each of its ?Member Associations? a number of tickets for matches which can be sold to the general public, assuming that the nation in question qualifies.

At the current time, the following 24 team series releases to date are, according to FIFA.com, sold out: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, USA, Switzerland, Sweden and Ukraine. We understand that to mean that more will be available in the next round of releases.

At most World Cups the tickets tend to be scooped by locals hoping to make a profit nearer the date of the finals, however this time around FIFA are convinced they have a scheme of personalised, non-transferable and forgery-proof tickets. We?ll see, but then tickets are just the start, you still need to plan how to get there and stay there during the finals.

With all of these barriers it is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to invest in a complete travel package that includes ticket packages and in some cases, travel and accommodation. Two companies that provide such services are Euroteam and Soccertravel. We hope to review Soccertravel services next month. In this issue we are looking at the range of ticket packages available from Euroteam who claim to be the ?no. 1 source for the best hard to get tickets in the world?

Euroteam are currently accepting pre-orders for all qualifying matches, group matches, second round, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final itself. Euroteam claim to be able to provide match tickets for any of the 63 matches during the finals or a wide selection of ticket packages to suit every pocket, except the shallow ones. They also claim that all orders include a guarantee which promises a strict adherence to their published terms and conditions or a 200% refund on any deposit or full payments.

Here?s a brief overview of the packages on offer from Euroteam.

Match Specific

Match specific tickets are for each and any of the matches in the 2006 World Cup Germany finals. Prices range from ?360 euros to ?3765 euros for the final.

Semi-final and Final Package

This package provides tickets to both Semi-finals and to the Final itself. Euroteam state that they have limited numbers available of this package although do not say how may. Prices range from ?2925 euros to ?6415 euros.

Team Specific Package

This package includes 3 tickets for the 3 group matches involving a specific team. Tickets can be ordered immediately and are guaranteed, as above. A full refund is offered if your chosen team fails to qualify for the finals over the next few months. Costs to follow England through the group stage ranges from ?1440 to ?3100.

Follow Your Team

This option provides a team specific package of tickets for all 3 Group matches, Second Round [or Round of 16 as FIFA will be calling it] and the quarter-finals. As with other packages the tickets are guaranteed but the refund policy is somewhat more complicated. A full refund is provided if your selected team do not qualify for the finals at all, a 40% refund is provided if your selected team do not qualify for the ?Round of 16? and then 25% if they don?t make it to the quarter-finals. Costs to follow England range from ?2520 to ?5400.

Sell the Car, sell the wife

For the true believer there is only one package, the one that takes you through every game to the final. This all-encompassing, team specific package, provides tickets for the 3 Group matches, round of 16 match, the quarter-final, Semi-final and finally, er, the Final. If your hero?s fall at the last hurdle your final ticket will be substituted for one to the third place play-off game. Again, all tickets are guaranteed and the labyrinthine refund policy is as follows: Non qualification for the finals provides 100% refund on the whole package, non-qualification for the second round [of 16] provides 70%, falling to 60% if your team don?t qualify for the quarter-finals, 48% if they don?t make the semis and 30% for failing to make the final. Costs for this package if following England start at ?4890 and go to ?10870 [gulp].

If you don?t have anything better to do from September until the finals start, and you?ve still got some money left, you can also get tickets for the qualification matches.

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