It’s a good year to be a soccer fan. The FIFA World Cup 2022 is coming up this fall (the first time in history it won’t take place mid-year), and although the tournament doesn’t begin until November, now’s the time to start planning—and grab your tickets. Qatar will host the tournament this year, and the country has been working hard to prepare. Visitors will watch games in several massive new stadiums around the capital city of Doha, and there’s even a brand-new metro system to help fans get around. Ticket sales have officially opened, but the purchase process is a little more complicated than just shelling out some cash and getting a seat. Here’s your guide to scoring tickets to the world’s biggest soccer tournament.
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Applying for Tickets
If you want to attend matches, there’s one place to look: All World Cup ticket sales will take place through the official FIFA Tickets portal. To get seats, you’ll need to create an account and submit an application via the portal. As you’d probably expect, demand for tickets will be very high, and to help give more people a chance to attend the tournament, ticket sales will occur in three phases, with a chunk of tickets allocated for each phase.
The first phase, called Sales Phase 1, began on Jan. 19. Right now, we’re in the Random Selection Draw period, so it doesn’t matter when you apply for tickets. As long as you get your application in during this period, it’ll be counted toward the batch of tickets allocated for this round. If the portal receives more applications than there are tickets available, there will be a random drawing to award tickets. Sales Phase 2 will follow a similar procedure, and there will also be a Last-Minute Sales Phase, where tickets will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. (In other words, getting your application in sooner will give you an advantage.) Sales Phase 1 wraps up Feb. 8; you can get more info on the different phases here.
Once you apply, you’ll be notified via email if you received tickets or not.
Types of Tickets
The World Cup is spread across multiple stadiums and a whole series of matches, which means pricing and seating vary. According to Bloomberg, ticket prices start at around $68 for a group-stage match and go up from there (scoring a seat for the World Cup Final, for example, will be significantly more expensive).
There’s also a range of ticket types, like individual tickets or ticket packages to watch a specific national team. Finally, there are also ticket categories, which denote how good your seats will be: Category 1 tickets are the best (and most expensive) seats, while Category 3 tickets will put you in the nosebleeds.
What to Expect in Qatar
Qatar is a small country that borders Saudi Arabia, and it’s located on a peninsula jutting into the Persian Gulf. All of the World Cup action will take place in and around Doha, the capital city. No need to bring a translator (or buckle down on Duolingo)—although Arabic is the country’s official language, there are plenty of expats living in Qatar, and English is widely spoken.
In addition to being the first World Cup to take place in the fall, it’ll also be the first carbon-neutral World Cup. From construction to water management to using renewable energy, the event’s organizers made sustainability a priority at every stage of preparation for the tournament. According to the organizers, it should also be relatively easy for visitors to get around. They claim it’ll be the most compact World Cup ever, with the farthest stadiums only 45 miles apart; plus, most of the stadiums are connected to the new metro system. The venues should be a real highlight. Seven of the eight stadiums were constructed specifically for this tournament.
And soccer’s not the only thing on offer. In between matches, you can get out and explore Qatar’s beaches, sample food markets in Doha, and shop and dine in the area’s glitzy real-estate developments, like The Pearl-Qatar.
The first match kicks off on Nov. 21 at Al Bayt Stadium, and the tournament runs until the World Cup Final on Dec. 18 (you can view the full schedule here).
For more info and to purchase tickets, head to the FIFA website.
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