Tens of thousands of the country's football fans have their eyes set firmly on September 6, when a lucky few will enjoy an unprecedented treat -- watching one of the world's best teams containing the day's best player on their own turf. Since there are a finite number of seats available, the treat will not come cheap, as was revealed at a press conference at the BFF House yesterday.
The minimum price of tickets for the Argentina-Nigeria FIFA friendly to be held at the Bangabandhu National Stadium was set at Tk 7,500 and the maximum at Tk 50, 000.
The sale of tickets for the corporate houses will start from June 20 while those of regular galleries will get underway from July 15, said Anwarul Haq Helal, head of the organizing committee.
“We will first offer at least 100 tickets each to various corporate houses and then will go for general people. Seventy percent of the nearly 12,000-capacity Western Gallery will be kept for corporate houses while thirty percent of the Western Gallery and all of 9,000-capacity Eastern Gallery will be up for sale to general people,” said Helal.
He added that the tickets for corporate houses will be sold by the federation but the modulation ticket sale to general people are yet to be decided.
Of the 25,000-capacity stadium, a total of 24127 tickets will be put on sale as some hundred seats (lower part of the Special Hospitality Box, spaces in front of dressing rooms and VVIP box situated on top of the press box) will remain unsold for security reasons as well as to entrain state guests.
Besides, the game's governing body has decided to make special arrangements for different sports federations, national-award winning footballers, District Football Associations and members of Swadhin Bangladesh Football Team, as they will be given the opportunity to buy VIP Gallery tickets worth Tk 15,000 at a reduced price of Tk 5,000.
Helal informed that nearly Tk 20 crore will come through ticket sales alone, in addition to the revenue generated from practice sessions. Although football's governing body has yet to finalise the venue where the practice sessions will take place, Helal said that they have the Army Stadium, BNS, Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and Fatullah Stadium as options for the practice venue.
As if sensing the intense anticipation surrounding the event, BFF president Kazi Salahuddin reassured his countrymen saying, “I am reconfirming that Argentina and Nigeria are coming here on September 3 to play a FIFA international friendly match on September 6.”
Salahuddin also reiterated that Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi is sure to come here as he (Salahuddin) met the star's Japanese agent on Tuesday.
“Messi's agent has asked me whether any corporate houses in Bangladesh are interested in signing Messi as their brand ambassador for a year as Messi is available for agreement,” said Salahuddin quoting the Japanese agent.