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Premium World Cup Tickets Selling Fast

Posted March. 24, 2006 02:59,   


VIP tickets for the 2006 Germany World Cup are selling like hotcakes.

The normal price of a World Cup game ticket ranges from 40,000 to 100,000 won. But there are people who are willing to pay hundreds of times that amount for a ticket. These costly tickets, which most people do not even know exist, are almost sold out. Who buys these tickets, and what makes them so expensive?

400 million won a ticket-

A luxury box reservation that includes gourmet meals for 10 people goes for 20 million won; a first class seat with a meal before the game costs 1.5 million won per person; and a pass for 20 people to watch six World Cup games in a skybox costs about 400 million won (336,000 euros). About 350,000 World Cup tickets, roughly 10 percent of all tickets issued, are sold with some kind of VIP tag on them.

The exclusive distribution rights for these VIP tickets are owned by the Swiss company, iSe. iSe reportedly has sold more than 80 percent of them.

Its sales agent in Korea is a company called Fortuna 2002 (vipsports.co.kr). According to Fortuna, the June 19 Korea-France game in Leipzig and the June 24 Korea-Switzerland game in Hannover have been sold out, while the June 13 Korea-Togo match still has plenty of tickets remaining. Fortuna 2002 president Choi Beom-seok says these tickets are mostly sold to companies who want to treat their business counterparts and clients. Most of these tickets were also sold to German companies doing business in Korea and Korean companies serving clients in Germany.

Are these tickets really worth paying 1.5 million won for when you can get a first-class seat for a fraction of that money? Choi says it’s all about feeling special, from exclusive valet parking service to exclusive entrances.

There is also a package deal available for individual customers. The package includes a VIP program, a business-class flight, a stay at a luxury hotel, and an interpretation service. This kind of exclusive package is sold for 10 million won for three nights and one game, or 15 million won for seven nights and two games.

Last chance to get World Cup tickets-

General admission tickets are sold by lot. FIFA has delegated the distribution in Korea to the Korea Football Association. A total of 9,000 tickets were allocated to Korea in January, and the odds of winning the chance to buy one were 4.5:1. Tickets sold by the Korea Football Association (KFA) ranged from 35-euro (42,000 won) fourth-class seats to 100-euro (120,000 won) first-class seats. The KFA was recently allocated additional tickets and plans to announce additional ticket sales soon.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com jaeyuna@donga.com