Low turnout seen in Azkals-LA Galaxy friendly match-A A +A
Thursday, December 1, 2011
MANILA -- Tickets to matches of Philippine national football team Azkals used to sell like hotcakes, but that is not the case for Saturday’s friendly match against David Beckham-led Los Angeles Galaxy.
Ticket prices range from P2,060 to P15,965, even as prices for the previous international matches of the Azkals, including the World Cup qualifiers last July, only ranged from P200 to P3,000.
The organizers have been prompted to slash ticket prices by as much as 35 percent early this week to drum up revenue and fill the 13,000-seater Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
Those who want to avail themselves of the discounted tickets only need to mention the code “LAGalaxyDiscountCode6987” in every purchase.
Despite the price cut, Ticketworld, the official distributor, on its website said there is still a "good" availability of game passes.
But a source who requested anonymity said at least P10 million worth of tickets have not been sold yet as of Wednesday.
Jinx Macabenta, president of event promoter Fuelcels Inc., while he declined to provide figures, said the past few days have been a struggle in terms of pushing fans to watch the game.
“It’s been an uphill climb but when we brought down the prices, there has been a spike in ticket sales since Monday. Hopefully, we can sell 80 percent of the tickets by Saturday," he said in a pre-match briefing at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.
Despite this challenge, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is still hoping that sales will pick up in the next two days.
“I do not have details of ticket sales as PFF is only responsible for match day preparations for the game. The promoters are the ones handling ticket sales. The PFF is still hopeful that we have a full stadium,” PFF ad hoc projects head Boni Labrido told Sun.Star.
Meanwhile, Labrido confirmed that the PFF will pay P1 million to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the rental of the 77-year-old pitch for Saturday’s event, which is set to kick-off at 7:30 p.m.
“The arrangements were made by (Azkals team manager) Mr. Dan Palami and (PFF president) Mr. Mariano Araneta. I have been made aware of certain details but not all,” he said.
Previous reports quoted Macabenta as saying that gate receipts will cover for the talent fee and accommodation of the LA Galaxy.
Beckham, an English footballer who plays midfield for his team in the MLS, will be joined by skipper Landon Donovan, ex-Liverpool striker Robbie Keane, and goalie Donovan Ricketts, among others in the match against the Filipino booters.
Beckham said he has a "big decision to make" after his contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy expires.
The former England captain, however, reiterated his desire to play for the British team in the London Olympics next year.
His team arrived on Thursday afternoon and is set to conduct a football clinic among kids at the Rizal Memorial the next day.
Before coming over to the Philippines, the LA Galaxy, which recently bagged the Major League Soccer title, defeated an Indonesian selection in Jakarta last Wednesday at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Despite being a nation of football fans, only 20,000 people showed up for the event, which is just a quarter of the 88,000-seater venue.
The cheapest ticket for the Jakarta leg is around $7, with the most expensive, in the VIP section at $200. (With AP/Sunnex)