World Cup de luxe parties for a price


Corporate entertainment is a funny old game and for years soccer was largely ignored by the rugby-obsessed sector, writes Róisín Ingle.

But if you want more from the World Cup than beer and a big screen, there are a number of events to choose from.

The Big in Japan party in the RDS has been advertised more than Roy Keane's favourite soft drink, with the result that the Germany v Ireland match is sold out. But for (gulp) €349 you can still pick up a ticket to watch Saudi Arabia v Ireland.

This hefty ticket price will get the 1,100 guests a champagne reception, pre-match analysis with Eamon Dunphy and Johnny Giles, the match on huge screens, a five-course silver service dinner and free bar all day. As the only event officially endorsed by the FAI, organisers Ovation say it was planned by supporters of soccer who wanted to "deliver a quality product to fans".

But Ovation isn't the only one looking to the luxury end of the soccer market. Dara Dunleavy of Noted Marketing said his company's idea for a corporate soccer event came six months ago when colleagues were wondering how to make the World Cup work for them.

It chose Leopardstown Pavilion as the venue to show both the German and Saudi Arabian games with Jack Charlton as the guest of honour. For €150, 650 discerning fans will attend a champagne reception, have access to the football expertise of Big Jack, feast on an executive brunch and if they can still stand up after all that, get free entry to the race meeting in the afternoon.

At the All Sports Cafe in Temple Bar, Dublin, €50 will get you Irish coffees, finger food, a live band and the matches shown on 50 TV screens.