The first wave of UEFA EURO 2004™ ticket sales has been dubbed a "spectacular success" by Gilberto Madaíl, chairman of the tournament's organising committee, Euro 2004, S.A.
Madaíl was speaking at the launch of the second phase of the ticketing operation, whereby tickets will be made available to the general public on a 'first come first served' basis via the tournament's official website, euro2004.com, between midday on 1 August and 24 November.
Madaíl told a press conference at the Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon: "We would like to highlight the excellent work done by the Euro 2004, S.A. staff, particularly by Pat Day [the Euro 2004 S.A. officer liaising with UEFA] who has done a remarkable job".
"We are very proud to count on the experience of the leading European expert in ticketing for football matches [UEFA]. This operation has been a spectacular success - we have sold 270,000 tickets, which is an amazing figure if you compare it with [UEFA] EURO 2000[™], when the two host countries had sold 275,000 tickets between them by this stage of proceedings."
UEFA EURO 2004™ tournament director António Laranjo then revealed that applications had been made for more than 500,000 tickets, with over 10,000 ticket application forms received and another 74,000 requests made through the official euro2004.com website.
Portugal and England
Of these applications, 41 per cent had come from Portugal, whose fans were allocated almost a third of the initial batch of 270,000 tickets. Supporters in England, meanwhile, had accounted for 21 per cent of the requests. Of the 84,000 total requests, 62,200 were for individual matches and 21,800 for Follow My Team tickets.
Already 13 finals matches have sold out. These include the three group games at the Bessa XXI stadium; the two group games and quarter-final at the Algarve stadium; the opening game and semi-final at the Dragão stadium; a semi-final, quarter-final, and Portugal group game at the José Alvalade stadium; and a Portugal group game and the final at the Luz stadium. Another 13 games are partly sold out, while tickets are available in all sections at only five matches.
Follow My Team
The Follow My Team tickets have been particularly successful. Here supporters get three tickets for their country's group games as well as vouchers for tickets for quarter-final, semi-final and final matches which they can use if their team progresses. Fans from Portugal, Germany, Holland, England, Ireland and Wales have bought up their full allocation of these, while only Category 1 tickets remain for Spain, Scotland, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, and Denmark's Category 3 tickets are sold out.
Reach the goal
Euro 2004, S.A. chief operations officer Martin Kallen summed up the situation saying: "We are very pleased with the process and with how many tickets we have sold. Of course, we would be happier if we could sell 100 per cent of the available tickets, but we are very confident that we will reach the goal set which is 95 per cent of the total number of available tickets." The launch was also attended by Euro 2004, S.A. press officer António Florêncio, head of marketing Colin Smith, and ticketing manager Jos De Kruif.
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