SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Tickets for the 2014 World Cup go on sale today and FIFA is expecting similar demand to that from the 2006 tournament in Germany.
Fans from around the world can apply for their tickets on FIFA's website beginning at 5 a.m. CDT.
There were about seven applicants for every ticket of the 64-match tournament in 2006, which was attended by more than 3.3 million fans, according to FIFA. Almost two-million tickets were sold to the general public in South Africa in 2010, although the number of applications during the first ticketing phase was lower.
"It's always difficult to predict," FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil said Monday. "But I truly believe that it will be more toward to what happened in Germany than in South Africa. We believe there will be a huge demand for this World Cup. But again, we will see after the opening."
FIFA expects about 3.3 million tickets to be available for the monthlong tournament in Brazil.
Tickets will cost as low as $90 for first-round matches and will start at $440 for the final at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The most expensive ticket for the final will cost $990. Brazilian citizens over 60, local students and members of some social programs can get tickets at $15. In 2010, some South Africans could pay as little as $20.
Fans don't have to rush to try to guarantee a ticket because all applications made through Oct. 10 will enter a random selection draw if there aren't enough tickets available to fulfil all requests.
The sales of the leftover tickets will begin Nov. 5 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Another phase will begin Dec. 8 after the World Cup draw determines where and when each nation will play. The tournament begins June 12.
Weil said FIFA is confident the ticketing system put in place for next year's World Cup will handle the expected high demand for tickets.
"We can do a lot of simulations but the biggest test will come tomorrow when it all starts," Weil said. "But we are confident that things will work."
Nearly 800,000 fans attended the Confederations Cup in Brazil this year, with ticket sales easily surpassing those for the warmup tournament in South Africa in 2009 and in Germany in 2005.
-- The Associated Press