Now that the stage has been set for next summer, the hardest decision about going to the Women's World Cup (after deciding to actually take the leap and go) comes while trying to decide what kind of tickets to buy and when to buy them.
FIFA has broken the ticket sales into the following four phases:
Stadium Passports & Half Passports:
September 10th through December 5th, 2014 (FIFA picks your seats for you)
December 6th through Early 2015 (Pick your own seats)
Early 2015-Late Spring 2015 (from my understanding, first assigned seating, followed by pick your own)
Late Spring 2015- July 5th, 2015 (from my understanding, basically the "leftover tickets" available to the public)
Tip 1: Unless you live in a host city or can afford to take off of work/school/your life for the entire month, do not invest in a Stadium Passport or Half Passport.
The Stadium Passport and Half Passport are pretty straightforward ideas, but one that may not work for everyone (okay, most everyone that's not a resident of, or not planning on spending the summer in, a host city). The Passport includes tickets for every match within the venue, while the Half Pass only gives you tickets to a predetermined set of matches. If there are double-headers on the date included in your Half Passport, you get access to both games, but there are different Half Pass options which include different games.
Montreal, for example, offers two Half Passports with the following dates:
For someone who arrives in Montreal for the June 9th game and plans to stay a week until the June 17th game, they would have to either buy both half passes to cover the 4 games, or buy the full Passport and not use three tickets. (Of course there's always the option to buy an individual ticket for the missing game at a later date, but they may not get the same seating area.)
The seating for the included tickets remains the same through the games, with exception to the Final Match. Both options will give you "early access" to purchase tickets to the Final Match, and both boast they will save you 25-30% over individual ticket prices (the later remains to be seen. Remember, it's FIFA; be prepared for anything.).
When purchasing the Passport or Half Passport, Ticketmaster will give you the option of adding tickets to the Final Match to your shopping cart. Tickets range from $50 for Category 4 to $165 for Category 1. (Something to remember is these prices are in Canadian Dollars and exchange rates will apply. For those of us in the States, this works in our favor.)
Tip 2: If you decide the Stadium Passport or Half Passport is right for you, considering purchasing a higher category than you wish to have (if you care where you sit).
I'm not going to lie, as someone who is in the field of project management for a living I have a back-up plan for my back-up plan. That being said, I made sure there was no chance we would miss out on the Final Match, and purchased the Vancouver Half Passport well before the official draw took place on December 6th. My thought process? If we're one of the first, I don't know, 15,000 or so people to purchase them, surely we'd get decent seats. Ummm...yeah, about that...
We paid for two-Category 2 tickets...imagine my surprise when I looked at my seat assignments a few weeks later to find our tickets were nearly BEHIND the goal. Which is great, if I wanted to pay out the money to see the back of the net.
*To date, seating for the Final Match has not been assigned. We paid for Category 1 tickets...based off of the Half Passport, I'm fully prepared to be somewhere in the upper level of BC Place with binoculars come July 5th.
While I clearly see the little asterisk that states "Subject to Change," my Twitter peeps assured me this is not an uncommon issue; some have even repurchased their tickets using the "Pick your own seats" option to ensure they have better seating. (You can bet there will be a lot of private selling of tickets happening over the next few months.)
In any event, if you're traveling to a city for one or two games, save yourself the heartache (and premise of "the early buyer gets the best seats") and wait until single tickets are out.
Even better? Wait until single tickets with the option to pick your own seats comes out.
Ticketmaster (Direct Link to the Women's World Cup)