Next year’s Euro 2022 in England is to become the first female football tournament to deploy UEFA’s ticketing system as organisers target record attendances for the women’s game.
The SecuTix-powered system will be used as pre-sales begin in July for the 700,000 tickets that will be available across the 10 venues in nine host cities.
Organisers want to surpass the record attendance for a Women’s Euro, currently 240,045 for Holland 2017. They are also looking to beat the 41,301 record attendance for a single Women’s Euro fixture at next year’s tournament’s opening game at Old Trafford and then break this once again for the final at Wembley Stadium, where it is hoped a sell-out crowd will fill the national stadium, surpassing the current European record for a women’s game of 80,203 set at London 2012.
“Previously, ticket sales for the Women’s Euro tournaments have been organised locally, but the decision to sell via UEFA’s SecuTix system shows how interest in women’s football has grown,” Chris Bryant, head of tournament delivery at the Football Association, told TheTicketingBusiness.
The 10 venues, which will each host at least three games, range from the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium to the 12,000-seater Leigh Sports Village arena. The semi-finals will be held at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane and Milton Keynes’ Stadium MK.
The tournament features 16 teams and will be held from July 6-31, 2022.
With the acceleration of digital growth, Bryant said he is hopeful that mobile ticketing can be used across the 10 venues, although paper tickets are almost certain to be available.
“We are looking at higher proportion of digital than we were at the start of last year,” Bryant said. “Some venues have certainly accelerated digital ticketing journey on the back of COVID, and we will seek to capitalise on that.
“There’s still a lot of work to do as all venues are different, using different systems. Certainly, our ambition is that digital ticketing should be as widespread as possible.
“I think we need to be flexible. Physical tickets are certainly important for some of what we might consider key groups such as school parties.”
Tickets will be priced from £5 to £50, with over half a million tickets available for £25 or less. The tournament – which was originally due to be held this year, but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – will see a family of four able to watch games from just £30.
Bryant added: “We want all teams to be playing in front of full stadiums, and you can see that in both our pricing and choice of arenas. The pricing is also influenced by our legacy and accessibility ambitions of ensuring more than 100,000 more women and girls are playing football in our host cities by 2024.
“We believe our success will depend on enticing enough ‘major eventers’ and families to games, rather than just established football fans – who we also, of course, want to reach.
“Our strategy is very similar to what it was at the start of 2020. There could be pent up demand to attend events as we all hope for a return to normality.”
A ticket resale platform will be available in 2022 for ticket holders to use and re-sell their tickets at face value pre-tournament to another fan. Although, all stadiums are planning for full capacity in summer 2022, organisers said a robust refund policy will be in place if fixtures are postponed, cancelled, have reduced capacity or a change of venue is introduced due to COVID.
“We need to provide the comfort that purchasers need,” Bryant said. “We will be outlining the refund policy in the coming weeks but we hope that won’t be required. We are planning to sell to international visitors coming to England.”
The pre-sale, in association with Visa, will run from July 13 until August 10. As part of the pre-sale, Visa cardholders will be given the opportunity to be among the first to purchase their tickets for the tournament, alongside fans that pre-register.
The public ballot will open following the draw which takes place on October 28 live on BBC, with tickets going on general sale from mid-February 2022.
“We are definitely expecting a high number of requests for England games, the final and knock-out matches,” Bryant said. “We’d say to people that if they want to guarantee tickets they should register and get involved in the pre-sale. We think a ballot after the draw will definitely be required for many of the games.”