If you are a soccer fan and happen to have $2,000 lying around, you may have a last-minute chance to snap a ticket for Sunday’s World Cup final match between France and Croatia on eBay. A soon-ending auction of two tickets for the Sunday game is steadily climbing toward the $4,000 mark, which is twice the tickets’ face value.
The hefty entry fee to this year’s final match in Russia is the highest in World Cup history. Fifty-six years ago, a ticket to see the World Cup final (Brazil vs Czechoslovakia 1962) was just $4. In more recent history—the past 28 years, or seven World Cup tournaments, for which ticket prices have been well documented—the price to see the final match has soared by a jarring 650 percent.
FIFA sets four different prices for all matches ahead of the tournament depending on seat locations. Like pricing most seasonal products, FIFA takes into consideration economic fluctuations, findings from market researches and prices for previous World Cup tournaments, according to the organizer’s website.
In most years, the ticket price increase falls within a 10 to 20 percent range (although tickets for the final match may vary greatly on second-hand markets depending on who will play). But the 2002 tournament saw an unusual price hike.
The average ticket price for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea almost tripled that of the previous event in France. The cheapest seat in the final match was six times more expensive than the 1998 final match, and the best seat was twice as expensive.
The steep price hike sparked a lot of criticism in the media at the time. Some fan groups called the pricing “appalling” and “completely out of reach of the ordinary fan.” The attendance of the 2002 World Cup was the lowest in 20 years.
FIFA argued that the price increase that year was due to the high cost of hosting the event in two countries for the first time.
Here are price ranges for the World Cup final match tickets since 1990:
1990 West Germany vs Argentina: $60 to $475
(The exact price range for the 1990 final match wasn’t available. We used the data of 1994 for 1990 based on a 1993 news article in the Los Angeles Times that said the 1994 prices were “in line with those from the 1990 World Cup.”)
1994 Brazil vs Italy: $60 to $475
1998 France vs Brazil: $46 to $390
2002 Germany vs Brazil: $264 to $660
2006 Italy vs France: $140 to $700
2010 Netherlands vs Spain: $150 to $900
2014 Germany vs Argentina: $440 to $990
2018 France vs Croatia: $455 to $1100