Hospitality packages selling well for 2014 WCup
More than $260 million in hospitality packages have already been sold for the 2014 World Cup, equaling the total revenue generated by the hospitality program for the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
FIFA partner MATCH Hospitality AG, the worldwide exclusive rights holder of the program, said on Tuesday it surpassed its sales targets in the first seven months since the packages were put on sale.
''The very positive market sentiment is testimony to the extraordinary appeal which the unique combination of Brazil and FIFA's flagship competition offers,'' said Jaime Byrom, MATCH Hospitality's executive chairman.
The company said some of its packages were sold out in Sao Paulo, site of the World Cup opener, and were almost sold out in Rio de Janeiro, home of the final at Maracana.
It said packages specific for the matches played by the Brazilian national team also were snapped up in all categories.
MATCH Hospitality is offering three separate categories of hospitality packages and five unique products to ''suit the needs and expectations of corporate clients, groups and families.''
''Services will range from private dining and business to business platforms to informal settings for groups and families,'' the company said in a statement.
It said its high-end package called Aquarela, which gives customers access to luxury private suites for 19 matches being played in the cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, is nearly sold-out. The opening match with Brazil, the final and the two semifinals are included in the package, which costs more than $1 million.
MATCH Hospitality AG said nearly 90,000 packages in total have already been sold, accounting for $262 million.
''The domestic Brazilian market has immeasurable potential,'' said Pascal Portes, chief operating officer for MATCH Hospitality. ''There are still a very large number of companies and individuals which have shown interest but have yet to place orders.''
General public tickets will be sold beginning in 2013. The tournament draw is expected to take place in December this year.
Before the 2010 World Cup, FIFA only half of the VIP tickets had been sold and Secretary General Jerome Valcke said at the time that the economic crisis was to blame.
Many in Brazil have criticized the high costs of tickets for the World Cup and say only the rich will have access to the matches. Former star Romario, now a congressman, said recently that the World Cup in Brazil will be great for those who have money, but the Brazilian poor will be left out.
FIFA wants to set aside 300,000 tickets for students, the elderly and the poor during the World Cup, each costing about $25, although Brazilian law currently allows students and the elderly to have access to half-priced tickets in all categories. FIFA will have to negotiate with the local government to limit the cheaper tickets at 300,000.
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