Going Broke For Soccer

However the Chinese people feel about music concerts, it appears they’re more than willing to part with a lot of money to see their favorite soccer teams.  

Scalpers were able to sell tickets to the Asian Champions League match between Guangzhou Evergrande and FC Seoul for at least twice their face value, which the Wall Street Journal says is “well outside the reach” of fans who happen to live in Guangzhou, where the match was held.

Photo: AP Photo
Guangzhou Evergrande wins the Asian Champions League final Nov. 9 against FC Seoul at Tianhe stadium in the province of Guangzhou.

One fan told the paper that scalpers’ prices were higher than those for tickets to the European Champions League games.

The Asian Champions League final is the continent’s most prestigious club tournament, and no Chinese club has won a title since 1990.

One university student, who flew to Guangzhou from Beijing, said he saw tickets with a face value of 600 yuan ($98) going for 3,000 yuan, but was eventually able to secure a ticket for himself “at a reasonable price.”

Others said they saw prices for the “best seats” reach as high as 8,000 yuan. Tickets for the European Champions League in London this year ranged between $96 and $530. Apparently, many soccer aficionados in China support the Guangzhou club rather than their own local clubs because Guangzhou has been consistently able to “compete with the best of Asia.”

Maybe the price was worth it, as Guangzhou Evergrande won for the home crowd.