~~WC prices dictated by SA economic scenario~~

Published: Sunday, February 10, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: South African economic conditions have been taken into account for calculating the prices for 2003 World Cup, the World Cup supremo Ali Bacher said on Saturday.

In total, there are some 920,000 seats available for the matches to be played in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya but Dr Bacher, executive director for the tournament, says the sale of 800,000 would be the target. "That will yield around Rands 25 million ($ 2.2 million), most of which will be returned to the provinces," Bacher told reporters. Prices will vary from ground to ground as the different economic realities in different geographic areas in South Africa played a part in how the prices were set for each venue. "We believe that the prices are very reasonable for the South African market," said Dr Bacher of the tickets, ranging from Rands 25 for the cheapest seat at pool matches, to Rands 350 for the most expensive at the final. "A great deal of thought went into this whole process. Some people might have thought it justified to go high on the prices because this is a World Cup, after all, but we took cognisance of the South African market and its economic realities. "While we might get 50,000 overseas visitors who would be prepared to pay far higher prices for tickets, our aim is to look after local supporters first," Bacher said. He added however that the tournament organisers had decided 'against having different pricing policies for the South African market and the overseas market'. He emphasised that the very affordable prices for overseas visitors should encourage large numbers to attend the tournament to the overall benefit of the tourist industry and the country's economy. Tickets will also be sold as packages, with two types being made available to the public, the 'Stadium Package' and the 'Follow the Team Package'. The first gives the public the opportunity to watch all the World Cup matches played at a particular ground, the second gives one the option of watching all the pool matches of a particular team. For example, if one wants to buy a Stadium Package for the Wanderers, it will cost between Rand 675 and Rand 1,000, depending on the seat, to see the Australia vs Pakistan match, South Africa vs New Zealand, Kenya vs Bangladesh, a Super Six play- off match and the final. A Team package for Australia for example would cost between Rands 505 and Rands 680 to see all its pool matches against Pakistan in Johannesburg, India at Centurion, Holland and Namibia in Potchefstroom, Zimbabwe in Bulawayo and England in Port Elizabeth. Bacher also reiterated that 50,000 tickets would be taken out of the system and given on a carefully allocated basis to bona fide cricketers in disadvantaged areas. Tickets go on sale from July 15, when booking will open on the internet, the call centre and at the match venues. The World Cup kicks off on February 8, 2003.

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