FIFA have revealed their pricing structure for the 2018 World Cup, set to be held in Russia and needless to say, it’s not going to be cheap. In fact, the ticket prices in place for the next World Cup will make it the most expensive tournament in history and by some margin.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) 5 July 2016
Ouch, $105/£80 for a group game is a steep price tag for a sport FIFA has actively preached to be inclusive of all demographics. By comparison, a group stage Category C game in France for Euro 2016 was only €55, Category B was €105.
‘The prices are obviously obscene, but surely every World Cup will naturally be the most expensive ever due to inflation and increased demand?’ The likelihood is that fans were complaining back in 1966 when the World Cup ticket prices were released as the most expensive ever.
This argument holds weight up to a point, but where fans have reason to feel particularly aggrieved about Russia 2018 is the severe hike in price from the previous World Cups. Brazil 2014 advertised the cheapest tickets at $55, whereas South Africa four years earlier stood at $40 for the cheapest seats. To then jump up to $105 is a severe leap in price.
To rub salt in the wounds, Russian fans, whose behaviour at Euro 2016 jeopardised the safety of everyone attending the tournament, will be able to get their hands on tickets for remarkably cheap prices whilst everyone else pays through the nose for expensive tickets.
Group stage games for Russians will cost 1280 roubles ($19.9 at the moment) where foreigners pay $105 to $210 for the lowest categories.
The great sadness behind this story is that expensive ticket pricing isn’t an issue just limited to the World Cup in Russia. Whilst it is widely agreed that Russia’s disciplinary record should have put a black mark against their name, wherever the World Cup had been held, the result would’ve been the same.
Many football fans the world over were wishing for the World Cup to find its way back to America, though if the prices for the glorified Copa America showed us anything, we would have been just as disgusted irregardless of host nation. During the Copa America, fans were paying upwards of $100 for seats in the upper tiers of most stadiums.
Sure people complained ahead of the Copa America, but events follow the procedure we’re all need to be familiar with ahead of Russia 2018:
FIFA sets the prices high and fans react angrily to the obvious exploitation. For all the complaints, the executives do precisely nothing. The tickets go on sale and they are snapped up in an instant – millions of dollars are made and the pricing strategy is deemed a success. The only question left unanswered is: How much more can we charge them next time?