Conmebol sets prices high for Copa Libertadores showpiece in Montevideo

October 20 – Flamengo and Palmeiras fans will have to splash the cash to attend the 2021 Copa Libertadores final in Montevideo, Uruguay. South American governing body Conmebol has set ticket prices for November’s showpiece match between $200 to $650.

On Tuesday Conmebol announced the ticket prices via its social media channels. Tickets for the final of the Copa Sudamericana final, the South American equivalent of the Europa League, will cost between $100 to $400. The Uruguayan government has green lighted 50% capacity at the mythical Estadio Centenario for both finals, but Conmebol still hopes to raise the capacity further because of the host country’s low coronavirus numbers and high vaccination rate.

In 2019, tickets for the final between Flamengo and River Plate, shifted at the eleventh hour from Santiago to Lima, cost no more than $250. Conmebol staged last year’s final behind closed doors at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium because of the global health crisis.

With the steep rise in ticket prices, Conmebol is trying to exploit and monetise the growing profile of its flagship club match further. In a bid to mimic the success of the European Champions League final, Conmebol introduced single-leg finals two years ago. The shift away from the traditional home-and-away final was a giant step in maximizing the commercial potential of the Copa Libertadores final. The late afternoon kick-off has allowed European audience to tune in during prime time.

However, in South America distances are huge, travel expensive and inequality extreme. The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the spending powers of fans across the region. Accommodation in Montevideo is another hurdle for fans attending. Both hotel and Airbnb rates have skyrocketed with rooms in the lead-up to the final often costing between $500-$1000 a night. As a consequence, fan spending is being stretched to limit.

The last week of November promises to be rollercoaster in Montevideo, with the Gran Parque Central stadium hosting the final of the women’s Copa Libertadores as well.

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