A confusing path to get World Cup tickets

Brazilian forward Neymar reacts during the World Cup 2014 friendly football match Switzerland vs Brazil at the St Jakob Stadium on August 14, 2013 in Basel.

Soccer fans have always paid a lot to attend a World Cup match. Traditionally, you've needed money and connections to get tickets. A new ticket system -- which begins with a ticket lottery that opens Tuesday -- is an effort to make things more fair. But being fair is complicated, according to Rob Baade, a sports economist at Lake Forest College.

“There’s a steep learning curve with regard to securing tickets for this event," he says.

First there’s the lottery that starts Tuesday. Then leftover tickets are sold. Then there’s another lottery.

Tickets start at $90, much less for Brazilians. The whole process is outlined in a brochure -- that’s 30 pages long. The idea is to avoid laws of supply and demand that push ticket prices up. But someone will still lose out, according to Ben Sturner, who runs the Leverage Agency, a sports marketing firm.

“The people who are going to be left behind are the everyday, soccer -- football -- fans," he explains.

Because not everybody wins the lottery.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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