Thousands of World Cup tickets unsold

17th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 May 2006 , BERLIN - Tens of thousands of World Cup hospitality tickets remain unsold, including many for the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica in three weeks' time.

17 May 2006

BERLIN - Tens of thousands of World Cup hospitality tickets remain unsold, including many for the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica in three weeks' time.

The newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said a total of 70,000 tickets bought by the Swiss marketing company ISE for 170 million euros ($215 million dollars) had not been sold.

The World Cup Organizing Committee has urged ISE to return unsold tickets so they can be sold on the open market, averting empty rows of seats at the World Cup stadiums.

The newspaper said ISE had been left sitting on 13,000-15,000 VIP tickets for Germany's three group stage matches, beginning with the game against Costa Rica in Munich on June 9.

The hospitality tickets, which include meals and drinks, were offered by ISE at prices ranging from 2,199 to 3,299 euros.

The Organizing Committee hopes to sell them to ordinary fans for 300 euros for the opening match and 100 euros for Germany's other games against Poland and Ecuador, but without the hospitality package.

ISE paid football's governing body FIFA for the exclusive rights to market up to 345,000 World Cup tickets.

Meanwhile, FIFA came under fire Wednesday from Berlin's hoteliers after cancelling thousands of World Cup bookings.

FIFA made a block booking for 8,000 rooms in the capital, but cancelled the reservations for 5,000 of them this week, leaving hotels to scramble for customers.

"Some major mistakes have been made," said Berlin's tourism director Hanns Peter Nerger, adding room occupancy during the World Cup threatened to drop to only 60 per cent, well below the normal summer levels.

Nerger said FIFA had marketed the rooms through its own marketing agency WCAS at prices that were far too high.

The average rate for a room in a Berlin four-star hotel is 127 euros - less than half that for similar accommodation in London, Milan or Paris.

"It didn't pay off to try and use the World Cup to increase room prices," Nerger said.

DPA

Subject: German News

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