Demand for tickets for UEFA EURO 2004™ has "surpassed the highest expectations" with more than 100,000 already requested following the launch of sales on 28 April on www.euro2004.com.
In a press conference in Lisbon, tournament organisers announced that there had been over 23,000 applications for tickets via the tournament's official website, www.euro2004.com, which corresponded to over 100,000 ticket requests. Applications had come from more than 30 countries worldwide.
Dr Gilberto Madaíl, Euro 2004, S.A. chairman of the board, said: "We would like to express our profound satisfaction with how the ticket sales operation is going. We have applications for all the three ticket categories and these total more than 100,000 tickets. We consider these highly impressive figures with more than a year to kick-off. This means that the Portuguese people will attend UEFA EURO 2004™ in huge numbers."
Dr Madaíl, who is also the president of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), thanked his fellow countrymen who had applied for tickets, but also appealed to those wishing to attend the festival of football to apply "as soon as possible as that is the best way to ensure match tickets".
The EURO 2004™ tournament director, António Laranjo, said that ticket applications for the final far exceeded the 65,000 capacity of the Estádio da Luz. He also indicated that there had been cases of people applying for tickets both individually and as part of Follow My Team. Mr Laranjo confirmed that every double application found by organisers would be discarded and the applicant would not be entitled to receive any match tickets.
He said of the decision to allow supporters to apply for four tickets: "At EURO 2000™ each person was only allowed to apply for two match tickets. According to the last figures the average number of tickets requested is three, so we can consider that we have implemented a successful policy."
Follow My Team
The highest number of applications have come from England, Germany and the Netherlands, with Portugal providing a "pleasant surprise" with a 24 per cent share of applications. Requests for Follow My Team packages, meanwhile, have exceeded the number on offer for the Portuguese, English, German and Dutch national teams.
Martin Kallen, chief operations officer of Euro 2004, S.A., said: "We know that the Portuguese people usually buy everything later, but even so we are very optimistic," he said. "If we come back to EURO 2000™, which was held in two countries and where the demand was slightly higher in the Netherlands than in Belgium, we are surprised with the way the ticket sales operation for UEFA EURO 2004™ has been going."
At the conference, Euro 2004, S.A. unveiled the results of a marketing survey conducted by German company Sport + Markt AG to find out how much the Portuguese populace knew about UEFA EURO 2004™. From 1,000 telephone calls made, Sport + Markt AG concurred that 85 per cent of people who are "very interested in football" believed "it is an honour for Portugal to host such a prestigious international event"; 70 per cent of those who "do not care much about football", and 61 per cent of those who "do not care at all about football" agreed.
All 31 matches
Finally, 85 per cent of people who "do not care at all about football" knew that the finals would be taking place in Portugal. Almost a third of people spoken to expect to attend the matches and a significant 43 per cent hope to watch all 31 matches next summer.
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