June 12 – FIFA has trumpeted selling over one million tickets for the Women’s World Cup so far, but the first round of games has seen a lot of empty seats at venues across France, raising questions about the ticketing policy for the tournament.
The first nine games drew 165,647 fans or 64% of a total capacity of 259,300. On Tuesday, the Netherlands defeated New Zealand with an injury-time strike 1-0 in front of just 10,654 fans. Sweden’s 2-0 victory over Chile drew 15,875 and the United States ran riot against Thailand with 18,591 fans in attendance at the 25,000-capacity Stade August Delaune in Reims.
The first round of matches had just two sell outs: the tournament’s curtain raiser between hosts France and South Korea at the Parc Des Princes in Paris and Brazil vs Jamaica in Grenoble.
The empty seats have been an all too common sight in France so far. In Valenciennes the stadium was two thirds full for Australia vs Italy with 15,380 fans, but other games in Le Havre, Montpelier and Rennes struggle to even fill the stadiums for 50 percent.
On Tuesday, FIFA issued a press release to say it had “reached an important milestone with over one million tickets having now been allocated to fans worldwide”. The governing body said that 14 out of 52 matches have been sold out, including all the group-stages game involving the hosts and the defending champions.
On Wednesday, France are expected to take on Norway in front of a sell-out crowd in Nice, where England’s edged Scotland 2-1 in front of less than 15,000 fans in what should have been one of the first round’s standout games. Germany vs Spain in Valenciennes is also sold out according to FIFA.
Fans can still purchase tickets on the world federation’s official website. Tickets remain available for all of the round-of-16 games and three of the quarter-finals. The quarter-final in Paris, the two semi-finals and the final are sold out. In September FIFA began sales with city-specific packages, which were put on general sale in October. Fans with a visa card also enjoyed priority to buy individual matches tickets and the overall general sale was not opened up until the early months of 2019.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1560688805labto1560688805ofdlr1560688805owedi1560688805sni@o1560688805fni1560688805