Qatar World Cup final ticket price sees up to 46% increase over Russia tournament

The cost of attending the World Cup final is up to 46% higher in Qatar than the previous tournament in Russia, fans discovered on Wednesday as tickets went on sale.

The steep rise in the prices for the FIFA showpiece match contrasts with the group stage seeing a reduction in the cost of some tickets, which fans can apply for online.

The most expensive tickets on general sale for the Dec. 18 final at Lusail Stadium are 5,850 Qatari riyals ($1,607), up 46% from $1,100 for the 2018 final won by France.

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Category 2 tickets are 3,650 Qatari riyals ($1,003), up 41% from $710 for the 2018 final. Category 3 tickets — the cheapest available for international fans — are 2,200 Qatari riyals ($604), 33% more expensive than the $455 for 2018. The Category 4 final tickets for local residents soars from $110 in 2018 to $206 this year.

The cheapest seats on general sale internationally to watch the host nation open the World Cup on Nov. 21 increase 37% from $220 (2018) to $302. There is a rise of 13% for Category 2 tickets ($390 to $440) and a similar jump ($550 to $618) for the most expensive opening-game tickets.

For other matches in the group stage, Qatari residents can buy tickets for 40 Qatari riyals ($11) — the cheapest for locals since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. The cheapest tickets on international sale are the lowest prices since the 2006 World Cup in Germany at 250 Qatari riyals ($69). Category 1 tickets have risen marginally from $210 to $220, while the Category 2 will remain at $165.

Supporters requesting to attend matches at the Middle East’s first World Cup will only discover if they are successful based on a random draw at the conclusion of the first application phase, which runs through Feb. 8. Fans will be notified whether they have been successful in the random draw selection by March 8.

The ticket process is beginning with only 13 of the 32 slots at the tournament filled and qualifying not concluding until the intercontinental playoffs in June. Applications in the first phase of ticket sales can be made on the FIFA website.

As well as applying for tickets for individual games, fans can register to follow their team throughout and to watch four matches in four different stadiums.

FIFA aims to generate $500 million from hospitality rights and ticket sales from across the eight stadiums in Qatar that are within a 30-mile radius of Doha.

Some fans could still be deterred from flying to the World Cup after a decade of criticism of Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, who are largely from southwest Asia and have been relied on to build up the infrastructure since winning the FIFA hosting rights in 2010.