FIFA to avoid empty seats at World Cup with new ticketing system
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
October 10 - FIFA is to implement a new ticketing resale system for the 2014 World Cup designed to avoid the large swathes of empty seats that plagued the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, and the 2012 UEFA European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine.
Speaking here, FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil pledged to keep no-shows to a minimum – including those representing sponsors, a subject that caused much controversy at London 2012.
"Empty seats are always a huge topic," said Weil.
"We are implementing new initiatives, new resale platforms.
"There will always be no-shows...but we will do our maximum to reduce that to a strict minimum."
The new system, which will be trialled at next year's Confederations Cup in Brazil, will allow tickets to be reallocated as late as the day of the game.
It also includes the sponsorship side, with commercial partners being instructed to provide a list of names "two or three days in advance, so they cannot just say the people will come and then nobody comes".
Weil admitted the system was not foolproof but that FIFA had to do something.
"Even with the resale platform we will have people not coming but at least this will help people who know they can't attend and don't want to lose their money," he said.
Both London 2012 and the Euros frequently showed sold out signs even though there were banks of empty seats.
"It does not look good if you announce to the world that you have no tickets, then you see on television that you have a lot of empty seats," Weil (pictured above) said.
He also vowed FIFA would do everything possible to make ticket prices affordable for local Brazilians.
"We try to have this World Cup open to everybody, in Brazil, and around the world," he added, confirming the precise pricing structure would be announced on November 8.
"At certain stages, there will be some wake-up calls.
"At certain stages, there will be some delays.
"But Brazil will be ready."
Brazil 2014 executive director Ricardo Trade, speaking on the same panel as Weil, said a fair pricing structure was vital.
"We are deciding the price of the tickets with the Government," he said.
"To receive all the people from Brazil to watch the games is very important to us."