Those World Cup Tickets Were Sold The Right Way
I have to disagree with William Echikson's "Ticket madness at the World Cup" (European Business, Commentary, July 6). The complaint of a lack of tickets is a sign of success, as witnessed by all the stadiums being used at close to full capacity--even when non-"glamorous" teams are playing. It is the first time that you've seen a stadium bustling with supporters in a festive mood even when the teams playing don't come from great soccer nations, and even when these teams are sure to be eliminated. This was the result of selling tickets in batches, which means that the fans don't go to watch only matches such as Brazil-Morocco but also underdogs like South Africa-Saudi Arabia.
The fact is that demand outstripped supply by more than 10 to 1. No matter how you divide it or how high you put the price, with demand from eager fans coming from places as far away as Japan and Jamaica, you will have some disappointments.
As for the "scientific" solution of "increasing supply by putting on more games and restricting demand by raising prices," I don't see how that is possible unless you want the same teams to play each other more than once. This would delay the elimination phase and prolong the matches well into August. By that time, the players would have to leave their national teams and join their club teams for the start of the national league games. Do I sense some Anglo-Saxon Francophobia in all this?
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