A number of months back I took a look at ticket prices for the 2015 Rugby World Cup held in England and Wales. When the ticket prices were announced for the event by England Rugby 2015 Chief Executive Debbie Jevans stated "we have a range of ticket prices for every budget - for fans and families who want to come to one of the world's greatest sports events”. IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper added that "there are affordable and accessible options to suit every need". The extended work can be read here.
This summer Euro 2016 will be staged in France. The UEFA lottery for tickets closes next week and gives us a chance to compare ticket prices across both tournaments. While not a perfect match, the tournaments are very similar in the number of matches played and the categorisation of match tickets into four classes. The 2015 Rugby World Cup consisted of 48 games. Euro 2016 will see 51 played. While the latter has only six group games and no 3rd/4th place play-off (Bronze Final), it does include a Round of 16.
Ticket prices in each category, for both events, are presented below. These are joined with an additional table calculating the difference in prices from one tournament to the other, across each ticket category. (The price of Group Phase tickets is calculated using a weighted average and is particularly relevant for the RWC, as six different price structures were used during the pool stages of the competition).
The RWC had a total stadium capacity of over 610,000 seats. The Euros are somewhat lower at 496,431 seats. That said, there are more tickets available for the latter, with just over 2.67 million seats for the 51 game football tournament as opposed to 2.59 million for the 40 games at the RWC. A difference of roughly 3%. This may be one reason why Euro 2016 tickets are cheaper, although on balance, the difference between the two tournaments seems quite large given that just 3% more tickets are available. Income levels may be generally higher amongst rugby supporters, and greater purchasing power might enable RWC organisers to charge higher prices. Or it might simply be the case that the public are prepared to pay more to watch rugby than football.
Regardless of the reasons, football supporters should count themselves lucky that they will not be faced with the same ticket prices in France that many rugby fans faced when travelling to England Wales and last year.