With a potential World Cup birth for the Colombian national team on the line in Barranquilla October 11th — what would be its first in over a decade — prices for a seat are already shooting through the Metropolitan Stadium’s non-existent roof.
On resale sites, tickets to Colombia-Chile currently range from $115 for the bleacher standing section to $500 for a seat at midfield, with prices still rising steadily.
Counterfeit ticket sales have been a problem in the past at Colombian national team games, and authorities say they have taken measures to prevent widespread scalping.
Tickets from the Chile game, they claim, are being released in controlled bunches, with identity tags on the tickets blocking any unauthorized fans from getting into the stadium on gameday.
That doesn’t seem to be stopping the unauthorized fans from trying, though, or the authorized fans from trying to profit off the rush. And demand shows no sign of decreasing in the three weeks between now and the game.
Reports came out as early as last Sunday of ticket-seekers setting up hammocks and tents in preparation for the second round of ticket pre-sale this Wednesday, which drew massive lines outside of ticket offices in Barranquilla.
At Colombia’s last home game, extensive police preparation kept things largely without incident, despite a two-hour rain delay before the game and all night celebrations afterward. Several arrests of counterfeit vendors were made leading up to the game, but, because of open availability on the internet, there’s not much public forces can do to stop the extortionate resale of tickets.
“It’s a shame,” said one local fan in Barranquilla, to Colombia Reports, “because with these prices it’s impossible for normal fans to go see their team. Only the rich people can go, and they just go because it’s a big game.
“Then again,” he added, “some people probably need the money more than they need to see a soccer game, so maybe it’s not so bad.”
With two Qualifiers left, Colombia is one point shy of a guaranteed spot in next year’s World Cup. A win or tie at home against Chile would send the ‘Tricolor’ to its first World Cup since France in 1998.
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