Tickets for World Cup final cost double the price of the Super Bowl

Fans show the tickets they bought for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. File. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

Unlike baseball's World Series, soccer's World Cup is truly an international competition, a celebration of athletic excellence that takes place every four years. Fans interested in traveling to Brazil, which is the early favorite among Las Vegas oddsmakers to win the championship, to watch the latest edition of the spectacle better be prepared to pay up.

According to SeatGeek, a ticket search engine, tickets for the July 13 World Cup Final in Rio de Janiero are fetching an astounding $5,956, more than double the $2,536 fans paid on average to attend the most recent Super Bowl. Fans can attend quarterfinal and semifinal matches for an average of $1,550 and $3,3000 respectively.

Not surprisingly, the hottest tickets are for regular games featuring the host country. According to SeatGeek, average prices for the June 12 opening match in Sao Palo between Brazil and Croatia are a whopping $3,072. Fans can get a better deal for Brazil's second game against Mexico in Fortaleza on June 17, where average ticket prices are $2,205. By the way the "cheap seats" for these gains will still cost more than $1,000.

"If you're in the market for World Cup tickets, we'd recommend waiting to buy tickets until the match you're hoping to attend gets closer on the calendar," writes Connor Gregoire, a communications analyst with SeatGeek, in an email. "For major sporting events like these, we normally see the average ticket price on the secondary market fall anywhere from 20-40% over the course of the two months leading up to the event."

The U.S., where soccer competes for fans' attention against a plethora of other sports including baseball, football and basketball, is expected to be competitive in the World Cub, though with odds of 100-to-1 isn't a favorite. According to FIFA, Americans purchased more tickets in the original presale than residents of any other country. The U.S. did surprisingly well in 2010, advancing to the round of 16 after failing to win a single game in 2006.

U.S. soccer fans interested in attending the June 26 match against Germany in Recife are paying on average $894. Tickets for the June 22 contest against Portugal in Manaus are fetching $790 on average, while admission to the June 16 match versus Ghana in Natal are going for $723, though cheaper tickets can be had for $379.

"Brazil as a destination greatly 'ups' the interest," writes Allison Salcedo, a spokeswoman for StubHub, in an email. "It's not just about seeing soccer, it's about seeing soccer in one of the most popular soccer countries in the world, coupled with some of the most beautiful and unique geography in the world."

  • Jonathan Berr

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