FIBA to address pricing after World Cup attendance disappointment

Germany win the 2023 Basketball World Cup

Featured image: FIBA

FIBA’s secretary general has accepted that mistakes in ticket pricing have contributed to disappointing attendances at the 2023 Basketball World Cup.

The competition finished on Sunday as Germany beat Serbia in the final to claim their first title. The World Cup was played across The Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

In a presentation ahead of the final, FIBA said the attendance for the World Cup is expected to break the 700,000 mark. Okinawa in Japan averaged 85% occupancy, but games in Jakarta, Indonesia were little more than 60% filled. FIBA said the final numbers for the games in The Philippines could only be revealed after the final games.

While the tournament’s opening game between The Philippines and the Dominican Republic last month set the World Cup record of 38,115 spectators, secretary general Andreas Zagklis admitted to disappointment at overall attendances. He cited figures that showed strong sales in the most expensive and cheapest ticket categories, but less success in mid-range tickets.

Ticket prices during the group phase at the Mall of Asia Arena in Indonesia went as high as US$481 for Team USA’s clash with Greece. The cheapest tickets for some games could be acquired for as little as $8.

Market-acceptable price

Zagklis said: “The pricing of the tickets was determined by the locals but reviewed by FIBA, so we have our share in this. We were part of this process.

“I was several times in the venue where the fourth and fifth tiers were full, the first tier was full, and the second and third were not. So that’s where you immediately see the impact of pricing. And this happened several times, so perhaps we can say that the second and the third tiers were higher priced than would have been the market-acceptable price.”

Zagklis added that attendances were sometimes impacted by fixture clashes. External factors such as big storms that caused traffic jams also came into play.

He added: “The hall was 50% empty before the start of the matches, and only 75% full at the break. We were wrong in estimating some prices.”

The 2027 FIBA Basketball World Cup will also be held in Asia, with Qatar to stage the tournament in August-September 2027.

Zagklis said: “Qatar is very committed, and I think it will be a dream for the fans. You know where to go. You can book your tickets and hotels. Yes, it’s going to be hot, but it’s going to be a tremendous basketball experience for those who love basketball. You will be able to see all the best players in the world in one city across four venues.”

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