Poor Copa América ticket sales see grounds at 41% capacity
"I'm originally a working class guy and I'd like to see fans inside the grounds, but the ticket prices are something outside our control”, complained Dani Alves.
With five games played in the 2019 Copa América to date, sparsely populated stadiums is becoming a feature of the tournament with only a 41% stadium occupation rate at this early stage of the competition.
Last night's Paraguay-Qatar which was staged at the iconic Maracaná Stadium in Rio only attracted 19,196 fans with the later Uruguay-Ecuador game staged at the Mineirao (Belo Horizonte) was a disaster for the organisers with just 13,611 attending the 62,000 capacity ground.
Friday's opener at Sao Paolo's Morumbí which saw host nation Brazil face Bolivia set the tone with just 47,260 fans watching the 3-0 win in the 67,428 capacity arena.
The principal motive for these poorly attended games claim observers is the inflated match ticket price policy with the cheapest seats for the group games starting at the equivalent of 40 euro. A price beyond the economic means of the average Brazilian with calls to reduce prices for the tournament being rejected by the head of CONMEBOL Alejandro Domínguez.
"I'm originally a working a working class guy and would always want to see people inside the grounds. However this is out of our remit and we have no jurisdiction over high ticket prices". These were the words of Brazil defender Dani Alves speaking ahead of Brazil's second game in Salvador against Venezuela.
At present the 46th edition of the Copa América is being staged in half empty arenas with little sign of change and a source of embarrassment for the organisation of the world's oldest international tournament.