FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, releases its last batch of 300,000 World Cup 2006 tickets on Dec. 12, offering a final chance to buy tickets to the games, held June 9 through July 9 in stadiums all over Germany.
The opening game will be in Munich's new Allianz Arena, while the final - won by Brazil in Japan in 2002 - will be in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Among the 12 cities with early matches are Frankfurt, Hamburg and Leipzig.
The FIFA World Cup Ticketing Center in Frankfurt will process applications for tickets to all 64 matches; the prices range from as low as 35 euros ($41.65, at $1.19 to the euro) for first-round games, to as much as 600 euros for the final.
But while the ballot software has been certified to guarantee applicants equal chances of success, there is a waiting period for approval. The status of applications can be reviewed by registering at fifaworldcup.com. Once tickets are approved, customers must either pay with a MasterCard (the exclusive card of the World Cup) or by bank transfer.
If applying for tickets through FIFA sounds like more trouble than it's worth, there are packages that include tickets. Trips can be tailored around matches on soccertravel.com (or call 877-667-5338), with accommodations ranging from three- to five-star hotels, coach or business class airfare, and amenities like spa treatments.
On the low end, a three-night, one-game package in Heidelberg with a first-round mid-priced ticket begins at $1,202 a person.
For the final match in Berlin, razorgator.com offers packages with three nights of accommodations, round-trip transfers to the matches, breakfast and a Welcome Card for unlimited mass transit rides. Prices start at $4,859 a person, double occupancy.
At sportstraveler.net, besides packages, you can buy game tickets only, but for a premium.