FIFA U-17 World Cup: Demand for tickets highest in Guwahati followed by Kolkata

FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament director Javier Ceppi says this could be the most watched FIFA youth event ever.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 05, 2017 22:20 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,ticket sales
Policemen stand near the poster of FIFA U-17 World Cup mascot at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.(AFP)

On a wet Sunday and with the city hung over after the Durga Puja, the cluster of umbrellas growing from a huddle to a queue outside a ticket counter at the Salt Lake stadium was quite a sight.

A box office had opened for the FIFA U-17 World Cup and demand for tickets seemed strong.

Over the next four days, the queues got longer. Even before a ball is kicked, FIFA, it was learnt, is expecting an average turnout of 15,000, nearly 6,000 more than what it was in Chile two years ago. And that could be a conservative estimate.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Jadon Sancho adds to England’s attacking options

The final is sold out meaning 66,687 should be in attendance at Salt Lake stadium on October 28.

Speaking to officials connected with the World Cup, Hindustan Times has learnt that Kolkata and Guwahati have seen the biggest spike in ticket sales.

Goa has been the worst followed by New Delhi where approximately 27,000 tickets have been sold for Friday’s opening games. Hosts India will play in the Capital, in Group A.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Don’t expect it to usher in a football renaissance in India

For the first day in Mumbai, over 32,000 tickets had been sold but this was before the third phase ended.

An official connected to the event said for a stadium with a seating capacity of 23,000, Guwahati has already sold 18,000 tickets for the group games and 20,000 for the semi-final on October 25.

“It seems we will sell out for the opening games at all venues, and if this trend continues, perhaps end up breaking attendance records across all FIFA youth tournaments ever,” said Javier Ceppi, tournament director for the local organising committee.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Guinea arrive in India, confident of reaching knockouts

Ceppi said tickets for 14 match days have already been sold out in phase three which began on July 21 and ended on October 5. Tickets in this phase were offered at a 25 percent discount. Tickets in the fourth and final phase are now available at the marked price.

“The response from the fans has been fantastic,” said Ceppi.

Tickets have been available online from May 16 with a 60 percent discount.

First Published: Oct 05, 2017 20:12 IST