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Feb 17, 2011

Prices soar for final tickets

UEFA has defended ticket prices for the Champions League final at Wembley this season, insisting it does "not want to squeeze every single penny out of the market".

The prices announced on Thursday showed that the cost of the cheapest category of tickets has almost doubled since the final in Rome just two years ago, from £80 to £150. And UEFA will also charge a £26 administration fee for each two-ticket booking, or £36 if the booking is made from outside Europe.

UEFA, expected to bring in £14 million from the match, will place 11,000 tickets on sale via a ballot system, priced at £300, £225 and £150 each with wheelchair entry costing £80.

"This is the market price. Do you think we would have trouble filling Wembley if the prices were higher? You think it would be different?" UEFA's director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti said at a launch event at City Hall in London.

"We try to strike a balance between the interest of the supporters and the interest of the event. Why should we price the tickets lower than what we think is a fair level?''

When moving the event to a Saturday, starting with last year's final at the Bernabeu, UEFA president Michel Platini stated he wanted to see more families attend the final. But the price for one adult and one child in the general sale is £338.

The two finalists will be each allocated 25,000 tickets for the game on May 28, with some of those tickets priced at £80 each.

Marchetti said: "The prices are based on the type of event and when you compare it to other events we don't think that the Champions League final is overpriced.

"We do not want to squeeze every single penny out of the market. We have to benchmark this event against other comparable events, like for example the final of the Euros and the World Cup.

"Last year there was already a significant increase compared to the previous editions but it's nothing to do with being in London and it is still priced below comparable events.''

Marchetti also defended the cost of an adult and child package, saying: "That's also why we put some tickets from children at a discounted price. That's a 50% discount for the child."

Asked about the administration fee for the UEFA women's Champions League final at Fulham's Craven Cottage on May 26 - where tickets cost just £5 - Marchetti replied: "That is a nasty question. I hope you don't think the men's final and women's final have the same target of people. We are not making a profit, we have different targets and objectives for the women's final."

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