Fiba admits ‘unsuccessful’ ticket pricing for World Cup games in Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Fiba Secretary General Andreas Zagklis admitted that there were “some lapses” in the ticket pricing of the World Cup 2023 games in Manila after the crowd attendance in most games was less than the federation expected.
On the final day of the World Cup 2023 on Sunday, Zagklis said Fiba would review the ticket pricing after the higher-priced seats were most of the time almost empty. Fans mostly went for the cheaper general admission and upper box tickets in games held at Smart Araneta Coliseum and Mall of Asia Arena.
“The pricing of the tickets, which was determined by the local [organizing committee] but reviewed by Fiba so we have our share in this, of course, and we were part of this process,” the Fiba secretary general said in a press conference.
“For some categories, it was unsuccessful. I can say that this is one of the major debriefing points we’ll have. Several times in the venue, where the fourth and fifth tiers were full, the first tier was full, the second and third were not. So that’s where you see immediately the impact of pricing,” he added.
The Philippines set a new attendance record in the Fiba World Cup with 38,115 spectators in Gilas’ opening game against the Dominican Republic at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan last August 25.
But at various times at Mall of Asia Arena and Araneta Coliseum, the spectators from the general admission and upper box got their tickets upgraded to the lower box midgame because the gallery was empty and only the nosebleed sections were full.
“This happened several times. So we can say the second and the third tier, were higher priced than would have been the market acceptable price,” Zagklis said.
Tickets in all venues–except for the opening game at Philippine Arena–were sold per game despite the gamedays having a double-header schedule.
The prices for better seats closer to the court ranged from P11,099 to P14,599, during the group phase. The most expensive ticket for the Serbia-China game last August 26 at Araneta Coliseum was listed at P27,299.
The cheapest seats available were pegged at P499 to P699.
Fiba still ‘happy’ with turnout
Fiba, though, understood that most of the Filipino fans chose to watch the Gilas Pilipinas’ games which may have contributed to the low attendance in the other games. The gloomy weather may have also been a factor.
“When the local team is playing, it’s difficult to fill up the other venue that is playing at the same time. Because those who are not in the venue will watch their national team on TV or on their phone. We did have here, if I’m not mistaken, 50-50 plus games to fill in the venues. Indeed we would like to have had a little bit higher attendance here in Manila,” Zagklis said.
Zagklis said Fiba is still happy with the energy of the Filipino fans, who even braved the storm to the home team in its lone win against China.
“Overall, we are happy with how it worked, considering also that in some cases, we may have had a big storm just before the game that’s really caused a traffic jam and we had the venue half empty at the beginning and only 75% full at halftime, where some people might have bought a ticket then did not arrive, or decided not to come,” he said.
Fiba will review the pricing ahead of the next World Cup in Doha, Qatar in four years.
“In some pricing categories, we were not right in our judgment before the tournament and this is something for sure to review for Doha because there, all 92 games are in the same city, of course, there, people will be able to buy their tickets from the moment that their team is qualified, you know where they will play,” he said.