The UEFA Champions League is the most illustrious continental football tournament in the world. With over 380 million people watching last season's final across 200 countries, the prestigious tournament is one of the most viewed sports events on the planet. Featuring 78 (or 79 in some rare events) of Europe’s best teams in a knock-out tournament, followed by a 32 team group stage. Europe’s most successful and dominant teams compete for the Champions League trophy every year, including Real Madrid (the tournament's most successful club) , Manchester City, PSG and more. The main event of the Champions League comes in the form of the 32 team group stage, which runs from September to June. This years hopeful competitors include reigning champions Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Napoli.
UEFA Champions League History
The UEFA Champions League came into existence in 1955 as a result of petitions from a French sports newspaper. Under the slightly different name - the European Champion Club’s Cup - this new Europe-wide competition quickly took off. It was not until 1992/93 that the Champions League grew into the competition that we know now. Spanish giants Real Madrid have been the most successful club in the tournament's history, and have dominated the Champions League since it began. For the first five years of the competition, Real Madrid reigned supreme. Since then, numerous teams have lifted the Champions League trophy, such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Ajax.
Average Prices and Attendance for Champions League Fixtures
The Champions League draws in truly massive crowds year-on-year, especially for the bigger matches. Last year saw an average attendance of around 74,000 for Barcelona, which was the highest in the competition. As a result, getting to a match requires a lot of preparation and planning ahead of time. Prices for tickets to games in the Champions League vary wildly depending on the fixture in question. If you are wanting to catch the tournament final, then expect to pay somewhere in the region of £400, but smaller games will cost a fair amount less.
How to Get UEFA Champions League Tickets
Being the largest and most prestigious football tournament in the world draws in some massive crowds. Unfortunately, that makes going to the games a little bit of a challenge, especially if you don’t already have a ticket. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to get your hands on match day tickets, which have been outlined below:
Directly from the club box office
If you are looking to buy a ticket for a Champions League match, you can try to buy one directly from the participating club’s box office. Most box offices put the tickets up for sale around one month before the fixture is set to be played. It is important that if you want to try to buy from this channel that you act quickly, because tickets sell out incredibly fast. You can usually buy from the box office either via telephone or on their website.
Most clubs provide priority access to tickets for club members, who pay a fee to get ahead of the crowds at the box office. This is a great option if you want to follow the club domestically or throughout their European campaign, but if it is just for one match the extra fee might not be worth it.
One of the classiest ways to watch a Champions League match is to buy a hospitality ticket. These grant you access to box seats, pre-game meals and drinks and a wide variety of memorabilia. Unfortunately, these are even harder to come by than regular tickets, and they cost a small fortune. Moreover, there is no atmosphere to be found in box seats, as you are separated from the supporters in the stands.
Ticket touts and scalpers are the dark side of football tickets, and are known to offer tickets to games outside of stadiums. Avoid these touts at all costs, as it is a crime in most countries to buy from them. Many tickets are fake, and scalpers have been known to rob their would-be customers. Even worse - if you are caught buying or possessing a scalped ticket, you might get criminally convicted.
Official ticket vendors
Ticket exchanges have risen a lot in popularity thanks to the internet allowing them a platform to operate. Here, legitimate ticket holders can sell unwanted tickets to fans that are trying to get to a game. The vendors are a safe marketplace to do business, with competitive - sometimes face value - prices across the board. Some of the biggest and most trusted vendors include Ticketbis, StubHub and Viagogo.
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