Ticket increases in sports seems to be an annual thing. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose – you can always raise your ticket prices for the following season. Typically complaints are limited to the fans (and sometimes the press). But in Uruguay, the players are getting in on the act as well.
It seems that prices for the team’s World Cup qualifiers have gone way up in recent years. Prices at the fabled Centenario stadium now range from 100 pesos ($4) to 625 ($27), making it nearly twice the amount charged just a few years ago. The fans aren’t happy, and neither are the players.
"The ticket prices are robbery," midfielder Pablo Garcia told local media. "The public cannot afford them. There are a lot of people with no job or who earn low salaries and they can't afford a luxury such as this.”The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) is free to charge whatever they’d like, and they have. But give credit to the Uruguayan fans. They haven’t capitulated and bought tickets – they’ve held out. So far only 21,000 of the 55,000 tickets for Saturday’s match against Bolivia had been sold.
Uruguay’s players care about the fans, but they also care about themselves. Without a full stadium, there’s no advantage to hosting a qualifying match.
"We all want a full stadium," striker Diego Forlan was quoted as saying. "The public always follow us.The AUF may have failed the people of Uruguay, but its players have shown something admirable and rare. They care about their fans.
"We understand the situation and that the ticket prices are high, and it makes us a bit angry that not everyone can afford them."