Ticket price hike for World Cup final in Qatar reaches 46 per cent
Children stand next to the official countdown clock showing remaining time until the kick-off of the World Cup 2022, in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 25, 2021. Fans can start registering for the lottery to buy Qatar World Cup tickets Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. FIFA tickets will be distributed through a ballot process rather than an open sale for the Nov. 21-Dec. 18 tournament. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, file)
Rob Harris, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, January 19, 2022 6:22AM EST
The cost of attending the World Cup final is up to 46% higher in Qatar than the previous tournament in Russia, fans discovered Wednesday as tickets went on sale.
The steep rise in the prices for the FIFA showpiece match contrasts with the group stage seeing a reduction in the cost of some tickets, which fans can apply for online.
The most expensive tickets on general sale for the Dec. 18 final at Lusail Stadium are 5,850 Qatari riyals ($1,607), up 46% from the $1,100 for the 2018 final won by France.
Category-two tickets are 3,650 Qatari riyals ($1,003), up 41% from $710 for the final four years ago. Category-three tickets - the cheapest available for international fans - are 2,200 Qatari riyals ($604), one-third more expensive than the $455 last time. The category-four final tickets for local residents soars from the equivalent of $110 in Russia to 750 Qatari riyals ($206).
The cheapest seats on general sale internationally to watch the host nation open the World Cup on Nov. 21 soar 37% to $302 (1,100 Qatari riyals) from $220 in Russia. There's a rise of 13% for category-two tickets to $440 (1,600 Qatari riyals) from $390 and a similar jump from $550 in Russia to $618 (2,250 Qatari riyals) for the most expensive opening-game tickets.
For other matches in the group stage, Qatari residents can buy tickets for 40 Qatari riyals ($11) - the cheapest for locals since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. The cheapest tickets on international sale are the lowest prices since the 2006 World Cup in Germany at 250 Qatari riyals ($69). Category-one tickets have risen marginally from $210 to $220 (800 Qatari riyals) while the category two will remain at $165.
Supporters requesting to attend matches at the Middle East's first World Cup will only discover if they are successful based on a random draw at the conclusion of the first application phase which runs through Feb. 8.
The ticket process is beginning with only 13 of the 32 slots at the tournament filled and qualifying not concluding until the intercontinental playoffs in June. Applications in the first phase of ticket sales can be made on the FIFA website until Feb. 8 with fans notified if they have been successful in the random draw selection by March 8.
As well as applying for tickets for individual games, fans can register to follow their team throughout and to watch four matches in four different stadiums.
FIFA aims to generate $500 million from hospitality rights and ticket sales from across the eight stadiums in Qatar which are within a 30-mile radius of Doha.
Some fans could still be deterred from flying to the World Cup after a decade of criticism of Qatar's treatment of the migrant workers, who are largely from southwest Asia and have been relied on to build up the infrastructure since winning the FIFA hosting rights in 2010.