Comparing Copa America 2024 Tickets to Previous World Cups

Technically, no, because CONMEBOL (the confederation that operates the federations within South America) owns Copa America but is FIFA watching and taking notes on the reaction of the American market with 2026 on the horizon?

What’s the Deal with 2024 Copa America Tickets

Well, there was absolutely no transparency about price per round and it was only announced a month before tickets went on sale that they’d be distributed officially through each host stadium’s ticket broker (i.e. Ticketmaster or SeatGeek). Go to their site now and you still don’t see prices listed because there’s no standard.

Tickets were originally supposed to go on sale in January 2024 and then announced “mid to late February”. They were finally announced to go on sale on February 28th, yet, a surprisingly large % of the population was granted “Presale” access on February 22nd.

In fact, there were TEN different presale groups for some matches. 🤨 That’s alarming as the majority of the actual fans that want to see their national teams play in a meaningful match are mostly left to “slim pickings.”

2024 Copa Prices Compared to 2018 / 2022 World Cups

It is difficult to compare “apples to apples” because, as mentioned above, there was not a standard minimum price. Instead, the lowest price was determined based on the venue, the teams playing as well as if the tickets available were only those already purchased and being resold at a premium.

So for our purposes, we chose a 2026 Host City, Atlanta, as it hosts only 2 matches for Copa 2024 and highlights the impact the variables have.

Match 1 for 2024 in Atlanta = Argentina vs TBD

  • The original, aka “standard”, tickets to this match sold out in the 10 Presale phases. Meaning, the “general sale” is only available to the general public at the mercy of supply and demand.
  • The cheapest available ticket was listed at $275 ($355.14 after fees & taxes!) for behind the goal, highest section. I do not know if there were any $80 tickets available to this match but do know people were paying $200+ in the presale for seats in similar seating areas.

Match 2 for 2024 in Atlanta = USA vs Panama

  • The cheapest available ticket during general sale and presale phase is $80 ($107.35 after fees & taxes), which will get you behind the goal and highest section.

Taking a look at Category 3 (the general, cheapest tickets for a World Cup) during Group Stages:

Russia 2018 is fairly comparable to Copa 2024 Presale for USA vs PAN; however, Copa is not a World Cup and, as we’ll explain below, Category 3 includes way more seats than solely the last highest section of a stadium behind the goal.

What are Key Differences Between Purchasing a World Cup vs Copa America 2024 Ticket?

There are a few differences on how FIFA sells World Cup tickets vs. how CONMEBOL sold Copa 2024.

You may recognize these differences from the how to buy tickets article but we’ll summarize from this perspective as many questions have come in from readers.

Pricing by Category

First, the pricing for a World Cup is broken into 3 (possibly 4) Categories. You can gain more insights here but if you use the image below from Qatar 2022, you can see there were 4 categories. Note: Category 4 is a low % allotment of tickets typically offered to residents of the host country.

The first question you may ask yourself is “wait, does that mean the last row is the same price as the front row”? Yes, yes it does. There is no price difference between section 400 and section 100 and the varying factor is the position of the seats (behind the goal, corners and centrally). In fact, I personally sat Row 1 for the Brazil vs Switzerland match for the $67 USD pricing of Category 3. The opposite logic is also true, which will upset some, in that you paid the same price for last row as someone did for front row.

The point to pass here is that $80 (before taxes and fees) Copa ticket in the nearly last row will persist down to the front. This keeps the price, on average, lower.

Based on this job posting by FIFA, it appears that they’re planning the same strategy with ticket pricing for 2026.

Pricing Transparency & Consistency

Yes, this is a statement of appreciation about transparency from FIFA (🤯) on something – and it even involves revenue! Copa 2024 fans may not even recognize this difference until reading this article but it can’t be unseen once it is pointed out.

FIFA posts the pricing per category before the tickets are posted for sale. For Copa, fans have to visit each match separately to see the prices, which varies by stadium and match.

For the past World Cups, price did not change based on the teams playing, the stadiums of the matches, etc. The only driving factor is if the match is the Opening Match and then Round.

Another plus from FIFA in the past, there’s no hidden taxes or fees on top of the published rates by FIFA.

Below are the examples posted from 2018 and 2022 by FIFA.

FIFA Controls the Resale of Tickets

This may be a shock to the culture of many fans, or maybe just the American market, but it is not technically permitted, per the Ticket Terms of Use set out by FIFA (read Qatar 2022’s Terms), to resell tickets for profit. Is there a way around this, sure; however, for the most part, fans comply.

How is this a positive?

FIFA maintaining control does not reward people who have access to the tickets earlier than others. That said, FIFA also distributes the tickets in phases, with a random lottery playing a big part, so there’s no presale access and the first round levels the playing fields for fans.

You can check more examples of previous tournaments on the Resale Portal here. The basic premise though is:

  • If Fan #1 purchases a ticket through FIFA for $100 and can no longer attend the match, Fan #1 can re-list the ticket through FIFA’s ticket portal.
  • FIFA will then re-list that ticket back to the public for $100.
  • If the ticket is purchased by Fan #2, which would be for the same $100.
  • Fan #1 gets refunded and Fan #2 can now attend without a second hand market premium.

Copa 2024 Resale Example (URU vs PAN in Miami)

The situation below, a situation that is a snapshot of Copa 2024 tickets from March 1, doesn’t happen for previous World Cups.

Here, there are 2 tickets for sale for the exact same Copa 2024 match (Uruguay vs Panama in Miami):

  • Ticket 1 (left) – Resale (a fan owns it and re-listed it)
    • $300 before taxes and fees
    • Section 132, Row 12, Seat 16
  • Ticket 2 (right) – Standard (no one purchased it yet)
    • $125 before taxes and fees
    • Section 132, Row 15, Seat 16

Here, these tickets are only 3 rows apart and priced $175 differently for the exact same match. As you’ve read above, this has been minimized at a World Cup through FIFA’s Ticketing Portal.

Lastly, FIFA utilizes a ticketing technology that does not send tickets to ticket purchases until weeks before the event. It also does not allow fans to “screenshot” the ticket barcode and a ticket is “activated” once the ticket possessing fan is within the confines of the stadium via bluetooth. Anyone purchasing via (a not permitted) 3rd party site would have to deal with the risks and anxiety of these facts, too.

What about World Cup 2026 Tickets?

There’s an article posted about World Cup 2026 tickets that will be updated as more information is released to the general public. However, FIFA could change its policies at will and it will be interesting to see if the fact that there are 3 different host countries and now 48 teams (instead of 32) impacts anything. The use of previous tournaments is to highlight consistencies in the past where we can all make some assumptions.

🙏🙏 that FIFA doesn’t take too many notes from CONMEBOL and keeps at least Group Stage Category 3 tickets in a decent price range. Admittedly, it is certainly deflating to see what USA, Canada and Mexico proposed back in 2018 in the official bid proposal for 2026 prices.

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