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World Cup Soccer Ticket Sales Open, Crash FIFA Website

World Cup Soccer Ticket Sales Open, Crash FIFA Website

FIFA World Cup tickets are now on sale, but people willing to pay between $90 and $990 to travel to Rio de Janeiro for soccer’s biggest tournament had to endure website troubles.

The initial stage of sales opened Tuesday morning, with anyone interested in buying World Cup tickets able to put their name in a lottery. Bids for tickets will be taken until October 10, and if there are more bids than available tickets officials will then hold a lottery to determine which applicants are selected.

There will be close to 3.3 million tickets available for the 64 matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with prices starting at $90 and ranging up to $990 for the final at Rio’s Maracana Stadium.

The demand for 2014 World Cup tickets has already been so strong that the FIFA website was virtually shut down, with a wait “due to an exceedingly high demand for access to the ticketing page.” The site was functioning again by Tuesday afternoon.

Fans who do get their name called for FIFA World Cup tickets will be able to buy them at ticket distribution centers or receive them by mail. Prices for delivery can vary, FIFA officials noted.

FIFA officials said ticket sales will almost definitely a lottery. Thierry Weil, director of marketing for FIFA, said demand has been high for previous World Cups. In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, there were seven applicants for each ticket, he said.

But World Cup tickets are not always popular in advance, Weil notes.

“Speaking about predictions and expectations for sales is always complicated,” Weil said, adding that “each situation is very specific.”

“In South Africa in 2010, for instance, we sold 1.9 million tickets but the bulk of those were sold during the tournament, just before games, as culturally that’s how tickets are bought there,” Weil said.

Anyone interested in applying for the lottery for 2014 FIFA World Cup tickets can apply through the FIFA website. Tickets will go on sale November 5 on a first-come, first-served basis. They will go back on sale December 8 and again February 28.

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