4.5M ticket requests for 2014
SAO PAULO -- FIFA has received applications for more than 4.5 million tickets for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a week before the first phase of sales ends.
FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil hailed the high demand for the first World Cup in Brazil since 1950.
"This impressive total so far underlines the extraordinary level of interest," Weil said.
Brazilians made 77 percent of the requests for about 3.4 million tickets. Argentines applied for 223,686 tickets and Americans for 175,122. FIFA said people from more than 200 countries have sought tickets.
Organizers expect a total of nearly 3.3 million tickets to be available for the tournament in Brazil, but only about 1 million are offered in the first stage of sales.
Most of the applications were for the opener in Sao Paulo and the final at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Prices for the final range from $440-$990, although Brazilian fans will pay $165 in the cheaper category. Brazilians over age 60, local students and members of some social programs will pay about $82 for a ticket. Prices for the opener go from $220-$495, with Brazilians paying $80 and discounted tickets costing $40.
Fans have until next Thursday to apply. A random draw will be held for matches where the number of requests exceeds the available tickets.
Fans applied for more than one million tickets in the first seven hours after the sales opened in August. More than 163,000 people requested the tickets online in that span.
Each applicant can request up to four tickets for a maximum of seven of the 64 matches.
Sales of leftover tickets will begin on Nov. 5 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Another phase will begin on Dec. 8 after the World Cup draw determines where and when each team will play. The tournament begins on June 12, with Brazil playing in the opener.
Nearly 800,000 fans attended the Confederations Cup in Brazil this year, with ticket sales easily surpassing those for the warm-up tournament in South Africa in 2009 and in Germany in 2005.