The first phase of ticket sales for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 was kicked off on Tuesday 5 May at a ceremony held at the headquarters of Chile's National Professional Football Association (ANFP). The event also featured the long-awaited presentation of the match schedule for each venue for the tournament, which will run from 17 October to 8 November 2015.
The ceremony was attended by the FIFA U-17 World Cup Event Manager, Jaime Yarza; the ANFP First Vice-President, Jaime Baeza; the Director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Cristian Aubert, and the Executive Director of the Local Organising Committee, Carlos Honorato.
“There’s no doubt that we’ll be privileged to witness a great event," said Baeza. "Every part of the country will have the chance to experience a unique event for all the family. The eyes of the world will be focused on Chile, and that’s why we must organise an unforgettable World Cup”.
The opening phase of ticket sales only covers Venue Specific Ticket (VST) Series, rewarding those who know they want to attend this top-class event regardless of the teams drawn to play at each venue. Such tickets include a 45 per cent discount on regular Category 1 and Category 2 prices and they will be exclusively available on FIFA.com.
Fans will be able to buy these Venue Specific Tickets for seven of the host regions, with the only exception being the Metropolitan Region [Santiago/Nunoa], because only Matchday 1 will be staged there. The other 95 per cent of the matches will be split among the seven remaining host cities and their respective stadiums: La Serena, Coquimbo, Vina del Mar, Talca, Chillan, Concepcion and Puerto Montt.
"We have visited all the venues and prepared a detailed report that it’s going to be sent soon to the LOC," said Yarza. "We don’t want to hurry and share the impressions we had after the inspection, but we must say that there are some issues with some of the building work, especially the floodlights and the maintenance at the training pitches. However, we are not incredibly worried. We know and fully trust in the work that’s being done around this World Cup. In fact, we are sure that this could be one of the better prepared U-17 World Cups in terms of infrastructure in the tournament's history.
The launch of ticket sales went hand in hand with the release of the match schedule and the confirmation of how many games will take place at every venue. As such, taking into account the 45 per cent discount available in this first phase, it will cost fans $11,200* (CAT 1) or $6,600 (CAT 2) for Venue Specific Tickets for every match in La Serena or Coquimbo, where three matchdays will be staged. In Talca and Puertto Montt, meanwhile, both of which will host four matchdays, the cost of attending every game is $14,960 (CAT 1) or $8,800 (CAT 2). In Vina del Mar and Chillan, where five matchdays will be held, the prices rise to $18,700 (CAT 1) and $11,000 (CAT 2). Concepcion will welcome six matchdays of action, meaning a set of tickets will cost $22,400 (CAT 1) and $13,200 (CAT 2).
Following the release of the match schedule, each city now knows which groups it will host. For instance, Vina del Mar will stage the first few games in Group A, which includes Chile. As a result, the locals can look forward to cheering on their compatriots in at least two matches.
“When we say that this is a World Cup for the regions, we really mean it," said Honorato. "It’s important to highlight that only the opening matchday will take place in Santiago, which means that 95 per cent of the games will take place in the regions. It’s also remarkable that two of the venues, Talca and Puerto Montt, will host a FIFA event for the first time. Concepcion, La Serena and Vina del Mar will provide new stadiums with an excellent infrastructure. That’s why we invite people from all over Chile to get involved."
In this first phase of ticket sales, which includes a 45 per cent discount, tickets may only be purchased online and will be exclusively available before the draw is made and while quantities last. Then, in the second phase of sales, individual tickets will be made available with a 25 per cent discount, which will also apply for the opening matchday in Santiago, for which the prices will be $5,100 (CAT 1), $3,000 (CAT 2) and $1,500 (CAT 3 Upper Tier). *All prices are quoted in Chilean pesos
“From the first day, all stakeholders involved in this World Cup made a huge effort to make this happen," said Aubert. "That’s why it’s very important for the Chilean people to get motivated and get tickets. The prices are affordable for everyone who wants to enjoy an event like this. It’ll be a great show and will help the development of the regions. There’s no reason not to live such an event like this from the stands.”