Flamengo vs Sao Paulo cup final smashes Brazilian ticket revenue record

September 18 – The first leg of the Brazilian Cup final between Flamengo and Sao Paulo at the Maracana has generated the highest ticketing revenue in the history of Brazil’s game with receipts of R$26.3 million (€5.06 million). 

The Copa do Brasil final remains a landmark fixture in the Brazilian domestic game with bragging rights at stake for fans, a ticket for the Copa Libertadores and high prize money for the clubs. This weekend there were 60,390 paying supporters in a crowd of 67,350 fans.

The new record shattered the previous mark set in 2013. A decade ago, Atletico Mineiro hosted Olimpia in the final of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, with 56,557 supporters generating a ticketing revenue of R$14 million (€2.69 million).

Flamengo fans however protested at the high ticket prices, a common complaint in recent years of the Rio club as it seeks to monetise its massive fanbase of over 40 million fans across the country as well as the moneyed elite in the Carioca capital.

Ticket prices started at R$400 (€77) and went all the way up to R$4500 (€866). For the return leg at the Morumbi, Sao Paulo is charging between R$200 (€38) and R$1500 (€289).

Those prices exceed what Conmebol will charge for fans attending the Copa Libertadores final in Rio in November, with category 3 going for R$ 260,00 (€50) and category 1 for R$ 1300 (€250).

Flamengo director Marcos Senna defended the high prices by pointing out that tickets were sold out within 24 hours and that thousands of fans were left disappointed. In response to criticism of his fans, Sao Paulo president Julio Casares admitted that R$200 (€38) for the popular stands was a lot, but said that “it is a way for you to try to balance a club’s accounts”.

Those Flamengo fans that had purchased were left disappointed with the hosts losing 1-0 to pour more pressure on coach Jorge Sampaoli. The return leg will take place next Sunday.

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