Ticket sales exceed estimate
Real Madrid and other continental club champions to be greeted by Dhabi, the mascot, who was unveiled yesterday
Organisers of this year’s Fifa Club World Cup have urged football fans to buy their tickets as soon as possible after early sales far exceeded expectations.
Tickets for the tournament, which takes place in the Emirates from December 6-16, have been available since the beginning of this month, first open only to Visa cardholders and then to the general public, from June 19.
With Spanish giants Real Madrid having confirmed their spot at the seven-team event by winning the Uefa Champions League on June 3, local organisers said the initial rush for tickets has been significantly greater than in 2009 and 2010, when Abu Dhabi last hosted the Club World Cup. Tickets start from Dh20.
“Until this point, the ticket sales have been perfect,” said Aref Al Awani, tournament director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), yesterday as the 2017 tournament’s official mascot was launched.
“For example, in 2010 the presale was less than 1,000 tickets, but now we’ve sold up to 10,000. We are talking about a massive difference.
“Also, the total sales for Category 3 tickets are at almost 70 per cent, which is an impressive number, and within the next two weeks we will release a report so people can know what’s still available. But I advise everybody to choose their tickets very soon because they are going so quickly.
“As a pre-sale, 10,000 did exceed greatly our expectations. So that’s why we feel we have to put more effort into satisfying the needs and expectations of each fan coming to the matches.”
The UAE will host the tournament this December for a third time, where eight matches will be played across two stadiums: the capital’s Zayed Sports City and the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
At present, Madrid, Mexico’s Pachuca and New Zealand’s Auckland City are confirmed, along with Arabian Gulf League champions Al Jazira, who provisionally fill the slot given to the host country.
However, should Al Ain win the Asian Champions League – the Garden City club contest the quarter-finals later this summer – they will take the slot for the Asian Football Confederation champions, and the runners-up to Al Ain will take Jazira’s place. With defending champions Madrid entering only at the semi-final stage, there is some concern that earlier matches may not be able to attract capacity attendances – a problem that affected the tournaments in 2009 and 2010.
Yet Al Awani said the LOC are confident this year’s event will not encounter the same issue.
“This time, on the guidance of Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, chairman of the Higher LOC, we intended to initiate the campaign early, as you can see,” Al Awani said.
“We started having the roadshow one month ago and making the tickets available early.
“From our side, we’ve done our homework. We’ve prepared the ticketing in a very good way so it’s an easy process.
“I’m sure that most of the fans by maybe October will have their ticket.
“We’re hoping to have full houses for every matches. “The Club World Cup is for everybody, not only the UAE but the region and the whole world to celebrate it.”
In 2010 the presale was less than 1,000 tickets, but now we’ve sold up to 10,000. We are talking about a massive difference Aref Al Awani Tournament director
Dhabi, the Arabian gazelle, was unveiled as the Club World Cup mascot at the Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. The tournament takes place December 6-16.