Five Reasons Why So Many Brazilian World Cup Spectators Are Rich and White #WM

Rio Gringa

riogringaImage: Fan at the Brazil x Chile game. João de Bourbon/Flickr

5. It’s part of a larger international trend of expensive soccer tickets.

4. Ticket scalping is a problem.

3. Brazil’s World Cup Law defined discount ticketing... Before signing the controversial World Cup Law, President Dilma Rousseff vetoed a provision that would have reserved 10 percent of all Brazil-team game tickets for discounted seats. Instead, she vetoed another provision suspending state and municipal ticketing laws that allow discounts for certain groups. So in the end, FIFA created what was called the „Category 4“ tickets exclusive for Brazilians. Within Category 4, there were half-price tickets available for Brazilian students, senior citizens, and recipients of the Bolsa Família program. The Brazilian government said that 400,000 Category 4 tickets would be sold for the whole World Cup, and that 50,000 free tickets would be given to stadium-construction workers and another 50,000 free tickets to indigenous fans and Bolsa Família recipients.

2. …But ticketing may have worked differently in practice. For the Brazil-Chile game, the cheapest tickets made up around 5 percent of all tickets sold, according to the AP. FIFA says that for group-stage games, it sold 143,364 of the cheapest tickets, amounting to approximately 3,000 tickets per game. But these inexpensive tickets sold out quickly. And while courtesy ticketing took place, there were reports of construction workers scalping their free tickets.

1. While Brazilians paid slightly less than foreigners for tickets, going to a game was still out of reach for many. FIFA charged prices that were marginally cheaper for Brazilians than for foreigners in each ticketing category based on current exchange rates. But tickets were still expensive and Category 4 seats were limited, as one can observe by looking at seating charts. Category 1-3 tickets range from about $82 to $900, with more expensive tickets for the opening match and later rounds of the games. The country does have a large and growing new middle class, but even some of the lower-end Category 3 prices can represent a month’s salary for a family of four wanting to attend a game.

Update: for those interested in the racial/socioeconomic divide in Brazil and how this affected World Cup spectatorship, read the Globe & Mail’s coverage of this issue.

http://www.riogringa.com/my_weblog/2014/06/five-reasons-why-brazils-world-cup-spectators-are-rich-and-white.html

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