Revenue / 06.15.18
FIFA Baffled by Empty Seats at the World Cup
Original article published on Washington Post (06/15/18) by Matt Bonesteel
FIFA is puzzled by the large number of vacant seats — nearly 6,000 — at last Friday's World Cup match between Uruguay and Egypt in Russia, and says it is probing why. The association estimates that the Ekaterinburg Arena was filled at 82 percent capacity. Telegraph journalist Ben Rumsby notes that less-than-full venues have become a year-round problem at major sporting events, with large numbers of unsold tickets winding up with scalpers who cannot sell them. "Sponsors, who are allocated a certain number of tickets as part of their backing of an event, have also become notorious for no-shows," he says. This year, FIFA attempted to curb ticket reselling by requiring fans to both buy tickets and register for a Fan ID so they would be admitted to the arena. However, fans can purchase up to four tickets each and change the attached registered name on three, an opening that scalpers have leveraged. World Cup scalpers in Russia can be fined by up to 25 times the ticket's face value, while the Associated Press reported that FIFA has tried to crack down further by canceling some tickets and filing a complaint against Viagogo. Ekaterinburg's long distance and travel time from Moscow also may contribute to the no-shows, with fans unwilling to make the journey unloading their tickets to resellers who could find no takers.
Read the full story on the Washington Post website.
Tags: Sports , News , Stadium