Wednesday, July 14, 2010

World Cup Pricing Questions

Here is an interesting article I came across recently which argues that FIFA needs to re-analyze their pricing structure in order to not alienate the multitudes of fans worldwide who cannot afford the expense of attending soccer's greatest event. This is especially evident when the event is held in countries with large lower income populations, such as South Africa in 2010, or the next host nation: Brazil in 2014.

However, when you analyze the costs involved with the Cup - preparation fees, winnings, compensations for player involvement, etc - it presents an interesting scenario from a pricing perspective. How do you host a global tournament (four years in the making) and simultaneously accommodate the ideal price points of all potential attendees? Thoughts?

From ESPN: (Read the full article here)
FIFA has been accused of putting money first and pricing out ordinary fans after many matches at the World Cup failed to sell out.

Kevin Miles, the Football Supporters' Federation's director of international affairs, told the Sunday Mirror that FIFA must review the costs of tickets and accommodation before the next World Cup in Brazil.

"Overall, it was a rewarding experience for those lucky enough to be able to afford it," Miles said. "But a World Cup being played out in front of so many empty seats was a cardinal sin. The pricing structure excluded large sections of the local population. They have to learn the lessons from South Africa before the next World Cup in Brazil in four years.

"It will require a different mindset as to how they deal with the tickets and accommodation pricing structure that is fixed at too high a level for many grass-roots fans of the game, especially when you take the tournament to a developing nation.

"FIFA must learn the lessons about pricing quickly. They must ensure that we have far fewer empty seats and more enthusiastic Brazilian fans in the stadia. FIFA need to ensure locals and visitors alike are not deterred by high prices."

Miles, like many others, has reservations about the role of MATCH, the agency which exclusively handles World Cup ticketing and corporate hospitality rights. It has been lambasted for pricing out fans and has said it will use Brazil to make up losses from South Africa.

"It's beyond belief that an organisation that has exclusive rights to sell tickets for a World Cup managed to make a loss. But FIFA needs to look at this whole area again to ensure future tournaments are more fan-friendly."

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