WORLD CUP TICKETS ARE ON SALE PEOPLE!!!! YEAAAAH!!!
The first round of World Cup ticket sales started this Tuesday (20th of August) and runs until October 10th. They will decided in a lottery format and are not first come first serve so no need to panic and start applying right away. The lottery gets done some time between October 11th and November 4th and (successful and unsuccessful) applicants get notified during this period. Once, that is done, there is a “first-come-first serve” sales period between November 5th and November 28th. This is also called the first sales period and is basically part 2 of the first phase.
Once qualification is done and dusted the draw for the Cup has been made, the second sales phase begins! This runs between December 8th 2013 and January 30th 2014. Again, it is a lottery format and the lottery happens between January 31st and February 25th. After that, there is a “first-come-first-serve” sales period between February 26th and April 1st (basically part 2 of the second phase).
Then – as if all the tickets won’t already be gone by then – there is a third sales phase which runs from April 15th until the end of the tournament. I’m guessing that returned tickets are the ones that get sold during this phase.
There are four categories of tickets.
Category 4 are only available to Brazilian residents and are the cheapest – they are behind the goal and likely to be in the upper tier of the stadium. For group matches (except the opening game), they cost R$60 (Brazillian Reais –2.45 of them will buy you 1 US Dollar at today’s exchange rate). They get progressively more expensive at each subsequent round. For the final they are R$330. I’m not sure how many there are but FIFA say that up to 400,000 will be reserved for those entitled to discounts (over 60s, students and people on the bolsa familia social welfare programme for the poor).
Categories 1,2 and 3 are open to everybody (non-residents and residents) but are a lot more expensive. For group matches (excluding the opening game), they cost $175 (that’s US Dollars now), $135 and $90. As you would expect category 1 has the best view and will be on the side of the pitch. Category 2 and 3 will be in the corners and behind the goals. Possibly a better atmosphere in those ones? As with the tickets for Brazilians, each round get progressively more expensive and they are a heck of a lot more expensive for the final. Check the FIFA website for more details and the exact prices for each round.
Each household can apply for four tickets, for a maximum of seven matches. When you apply, you need your details (name, passport, credit card and postal address) and the details of other people you are applying for. I think, I think, you can only pay with Visa (bastards!).
I’m still working out my strategy and what games I’m going to apply for. Remember, Brazil is a very big country and getting around it is expensive if you fly. If you go and watch a game in Manaus (in the middle of the Amazon jungle) you will have to fly, unless you plan to take a boat trip along the great river (good luck getting back in time to watch matches in any other city). However, TAM are apparently offering a package which costs $550 and includes four domestic flights to any destination – sounds like a decent offer especially if you’re planning to go to Manaus, or Fortaleza, or Cuiaba, or Recife, or Salvador. Or Brasilia or Porto Alegre. To get this special, I think you need to buy your international ticket to Brazil using TAM. But, check the TAM website to be sure.
I’ve bussed it between Sao Paulo and Salvador before – it took about 30 hours on a bus that was not very comfortable and on a very bumpy road. It was fun and you do get to see the country quite well that way but its not the most comfortable ride. Coritiba is about 7 hours away from Sao Paulo by bus. Rio, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte are all about 6-8 hours away from each other by bus. Porto Alegre is about 20 hours from Sao Paulo by bus. I’m quoting these times all from the top of my head so don’t be too pissed if I’m wrong. But, I’m probably right, give or take a couple of hours.
I’ll post more on transport and the venues in due course. For now, its late and I’m up early tomorrow so I’m signing off.
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