Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Going back to the roots?

When FIFA released the details of their ticket scheme for the 2010 World Cup, I was very critical of its policy of releasing them first to corporations. The idea being that FIFA could sell travel packages to companies with box seats wrapped in for the execs and excellent stand seats for other members of the company. However as the recession hit companies backed away form buying these lavish ticket packages, plus many stayed away do to the possibility of crime in South Africa. It opened the door for regular everyday citizens of South Africa to purchase tickets that would not be available to them in normal circumstances.

Now one can argue against the fact that FIFA offered what in a sense were poor man tickets, priced, selected and distributed in poorer areas of South Africa. However it actually can be applauded for releasing many of the unsold tickets to the general public at the discounted rate.

At first the method of trying to sell these discounted tickets was flawed as they were only available online. As most of the poorer peoples of South Africa had no access to the Internet it stayed a fairly exclusive event. Then after finally consulting with local officials FIFA made them available in selected local grocery stores for cash. At this point the tickets began to sell out, what this will bring to the world cup is a true fan experience in the stands.

World Cups in the past have been accused of having fairly dead stadiums while the atmosphere outside the stadium as electric. The hope this year is that the there is more of a balance in terms of the atmosphere. As David Bond writes in his blog for the BBC; this could be the beginning of a move to back to the fan oriented World Cup in which the fan will rule the stadium, not the corporation.

Check out David Bond's blog by clicking on his name.


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