Premium seats just the ticket for fervent Euro 2012 fans

Wed, Mar 28, 2012, 01:00

IN A throwback to happier economic times, Ireland soccer fans have already bought more than €1 million worth of premium tickets for their team’s matches at Euro 2012.

Despite eye-watering prices, which include €2,250 for a platinum Club Prestige ticket for the match against world champions Spain in Gdansk and €1,450 for the “gold” package for each of Ireland’s three matches, there appears to be no shortage of interested Irish parties.

Uefa commercial manager Magdelena Mazany-Krasonodebska yesterday announced there were approximately 250 Club Prestige tickets left for each of the three Irish matches in Euro 2012 and she expected the bulk of these tickets to go to Irish fans.

Approximately 1,000 Club Prestige tickets are available for each of Ireland’s group games and are distributed between firms in Poland and companies in the competing countries. Some 30 per cent of all the prestige tickets for Ireland’s three games have gone to Irish fans.

Mazany-Krasonodebska said Irish fans had bought more premium tickets and shown more interest in purchasing them than the Spaniards, despite the size of the respective markets.

Those who buy a platinum package are guaranteed a room in a Uefa-approved hotel at a standard rate rather than the “crazy rates” which usually applied on a match night, she added.

Each platinum customer will have a seat in a corporate box known as a “skybox”, a guaranteed car-parking space, a “premium gourmet dining experience before, during and after the game” and “premium wines and spirits”, according to the promotional literature. The food will reflect the countries participating in the matches.

These tickets have to be booked en-bloc depending on the size of the corporate box. The smallest allocation is 12 packages.

Mazany-Krasonodebska said gold packages were more popular with Irish fans. These are slightly less formal, with a round-table dinner and premium seats.

She said most of the premium tickets had been bought by Irish companies doing business in Poland or Polish companies with Irish employees doing business in Ireland, reflecting the strength of the export sector.

CSL Hospitality, the authorised Irish sales agent for the Club Prestige hospitality programme, confirmed that companies which had bought packages were “mainly exporters and manufacturers”.

For the majority of Irish fans who are slumming it relative to the Club Prestige customers, there has been some further good news. The Italians have not taken up their full allocation of tickets and are returning 2,000 tickets to Uefa for the potentially critical final game against Ireland on June 18th in Poznan.