Calling ‘casual’ New Zealanders: buy World Cup tickets

In New Zealand, billboards in bus shelters and stadiums, radio and social media advertise the World Cup which begins this week. Last week, FIFA announced that even half of the 900,000 seats available in New Zealand stadiums would not be occupied. “I don’t think the Kiwis realize we’re dealing with a historic event here,” New Zealand sports commentator Alice Soper told ANP news agency.

Soper describes the mood in New Zealand as “a bit sleepy” with two days to go before the tournament begins. According to Soper, this is part of the national character of New Zealanders. “We only get excited when the party has already started. Hopefully the interest will increase after the first few matches.” Additionally, women’s football in New Zealand, which focuses on rugby, is “a minority of a minority”, Soper said. For example, there is no official women’s football competition in New Zealand.

New Zealand Sports Minister Grant Robertson would also like to see “more tickets sold”, a spokesman told the ANP news agency. Robertson also states that New Zealanders are known to buy tickets late. “We have set ourselves the goal of selling half a million tickets and are confident that we will achieve this,” the spokesperson said.

New Zealand World Cup sponsor Xero gave away 20,000 tickets last week. “They were all gone within hours,” a Xero spokesperson said. No more free tickets will be given out, but Xero hopes ticket sales will be “kicked up further” with the promotion.

Ticket sales are improving in Australia. A total of 1.25 million tickets were sold. This makes this World Cup the highest-attended women’s sporting event of all time, according to the Australian government.

It is not known how many tickets were sold for the matches played by the Netherlands. The KNVB have previously said they expect a maximum of 300 fans from the Netherlands to travel with Orange halfway around the world. The FIFA website says there are still “enough” tickets available for matches against Portugal (July 23) and Vietnam (August 1). Only against the United States (July 27) there is a “limited” space.

Source: ANP

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