Thursday, 19 October 2006

Can't get in for love nor money.... well, maybe money

Santiago Bernabéu stadiumAs is ever the case for the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Clásico, the few tickets put on sale to the general public sold out within two hours, and a whole bunch of those found their way onto internet auction sites within minutes to be re-sold at exorbitant mark-ups of up to 300 and 400 euros each.

The problem has been exacerbated by Ramón Calderón's rare keeping of an election promise to increase the number of season ticket holders by 5,000 to 70,000. After sponsor commitments, etc. (including 350 for Barcelona supporters, the same number of Real Madrid fans that travelled to the Nou Camp last time) this leaves only around 8,000 seats for sale. These are preferentially (and in this case, exclusively) sold to club members without a season ticket, as they pay an annual subscription for the privilege.

Season ticket holders who cannot attend the game can re-sell their seat through the club and get back a portion of their annual subcription. Of course, many find it far more lucrative to just 'rent' their seat to the highest bidder, potentially paying their annual fee with one or two of these transactions...

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