2018 Football World Cup: UK fans face the most expensive World Cup for tickets ever

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New research from pricing strategy specialists Simon-Kucher & Partners shows that tickets at this year’s World Cup tournament will be the most expensive ever, whether for entry level tickets for the early games or top tier categories for the final stages.

Tickets in Russia for comparable games will typically be 24% more expensive in real terms across different ticket types than the previous World Cup in Brazil, and 15% higher than the previous record holder for costly tickets, South Africa in 2010.

Rosalind Hunter, a senior director and sports pricing specialist with Simon-Kucher, says:
“There was a massive increase in average ticket prices of 58% in real terms for lower tier ticket prices for British fans between the 2006 World Cup in Germany and 2010 in South Africa, while since then the increase between tournaments has been more modest. Prices this year in Russia are for lower tier tickets on average 18% higher in real terms for British fans than those in Brazil four years ago. Without the fall in the value of sterling last year the increase would have only been 4% making the average entry level tickets £20 cheaper.”

Rosalind adds: “In the event England gets through to the final, a Three Lions fan will need to spend a minimum of £967 on tickets if they attend every England game. The equivalent in 2006 was £565."

There is good news though if you didn’t manage to get your hands on a category 1 ticket for the final on the 15th of July, for the same price (£791) you can still purchase a season ticket for any Premier League club – with the one exception of Arsenal, whose cheapest season ticket is £891.

The story is different for local fans, as FIFA also have a lower tier of far lower priced tickets reserved for the local fans, in the case of Russia 2018, the price of these tickets are cheaper than at previous World Cups. The tickets available for locals are priced at £15-84.

“Ticket prices for local fans will be set at a price that ensures the tournament is accessible, similar to the strategy applied by the organising committee of London 2012. These prices are harder to compare year on year given the differing economies of Germany, South Africa, Brazil and Russia and therefore the ability for the average citizen to afford and to attend the matches. The last thing any major event organiser wants are empty stands and a lack of atmosphere.” says study author, Rosalind Hunter.