$45-$180 to catch Juventus 'live'
Mixed reaction from fans over ticket prices for first football match at new National Stadium
Serie A champions Juventus will be a part of Singapore's sports history on Aug 16.
The Italian giants will take on a Singapore Selection at the new National Stadium and it will be the first football match to be held at the Kallang facility.
The ticket prices for the match at the Singapore Sports Hub were released yesterday and many of the fans The New Paper spoke to felt that it was a little high.
The prices range from $45 to $180 for adults and $30 to $45 for children 16 and below.
Tickets will go on sale today and event promoters World Sport Group (WSG) believe the prices are fair, but it remains to be seen if the match at the 55,000-capacity stadium will be a sellout.
"$45 to see Juventus is a bit more than I was expecting," said football fan Matthew Ong, 35.
"But this will be the first match in a brand new facility, which makes it an historic occasion
"In light of that, I suppose the prices are justified."
The clash will be the first football match at the new National Stadium after the international friendly between Singapore and Malaysia originally scheduled on Aug 8 was postponed to a later date due to organisational issues.
A total of 52,000 tickets will go on sale at Sports Hub Tix (www.sportshubtix.sg) and there will be four categories for adults: $45, $70, $110 and $180.
There will be incentives for early birds as well as for "teams" of football fans who buy tickets for the glamour friendly.
Early birds will receive a 10 per cent discount on tickets, but the offer will only last for as long as Italy remain in the running at the World Cup in Brazil from June 12 to July 13.
Juventus fan Idran Juffrey wonders if the organisers will be able to fill the stadium.
"The prices are a bit steep. $45 is okay, but I can't imagine too many fans paying $110 or $180 to see Juventus," he said. "I will, because I'm a Juve fan, but this is not Manchester United or Barcelona, where people will pay high prices just to watch players like Wayne Rooney or Lionel Messi.
"The admission price for students, especially, should be lower. $30 is too much for schoolchildren to pay."
World Sport Group say they've spread ticket prices across four categories for adults to cater for the widest possible audience for the game.
Malcolm Thorpe, vice-president, sports development and events, WSG, said: "This is going to be a great opportunity for Singaporeans to see 'live' high quality international football for the first time in many years.
"The fact that this may well be the first football match in the new National Stadium adds further glamour to the event.
"We have made a particular effort to keep prices accessible, especially for fans below 16... At other events, only children below 12 get a discounted price.
"As with any premier event, there are higher priced tickets for the 'best seats', but the new National Stadium has been so well designed for spectators that there isn't a bad seat in the house."
Juventus, who claim to have a worldwide fan base of 250 million, enjoyed a record-breaking season on their way to a third consecutive Serie A title this year. They won 33 games, including all 19 at home, and set a new league record total of 102 points.
The club have promised to bring their stars to Singapore, including goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, midfielder Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba, and flamboyant Argentine striker Carlos Tevez.
They will take on a Singapore team led by national coach Bernd Stange, who will almost certainly have to pick players from the S.League and various national youth squads because most of the national team stars will be involved with the LionsXII in the Malaysia Cup at the time.
R Sasikumar heads integrated sports marketing company The Red Card, who have been organising international youth football tournament the Lion City Cup.
The former Singapore defender believes the ticket prices are fair considering the organisers' cost of bringing Juventus here.
He said: "Looking at the highest-priced ticket to the lowest, the average ticket is about $110. That's 65 euros, which is the cost of a top-tier league game in Europe.
"If you do the math, even if (organisers) sell out the game at 55,000, their profit will be a minimal one.
"Juventus aren't in the tier of Barcelona or Man United, where there will be a 120 to 150 per cent demand for tickets.
"But I do think the game will be sold out because of the novelty - it's the first match at the new National Stadium."
The $180 ticket is definitely overpriced. Yes, it’s the first time Juventus are coming to Singapore, and also the first game at the new National Stadium. For that I would pay $45, but if those tickets are sold out, then I would give (the match) a miss.
- Adrian Ng, 30, a local football fan on watching Juventus