After Invitations to "Footballer Only" parties, tickets for the Euro 2004 Football Tournament are the most valuable pieces of paper passing hands in Portugal. Football Fans want to buy Euro 2004 tickets and are willing to pay top Euro to do so.
Fans often travel on "football" vacations hoping to buy tickets when they arrive. At Euro 2004, like elsewhere, they can but they run into 4 problems: availability of tickets, legality of buying tickets, price of tickets and counterfeit tickets.
Tickets for the Euro 2004 events were allocated months ago. A fan cannot buy a ticket for a Euro 2004 game from any stadium and unlike concerts, "last minute rearrangements of equipment" isn't likely to free up tickets. This leaves ticketless fans who arrive in Portugal with a stark choice a) enjoy the football at the local pubs or b) invest in tickets for the game.
Tickets For Euro 2004 are not only hard to get, they are illegal to buy and sell on the streets of Portugal. While it is legal to use ticket agencies in some of the participant countries, and to buy them from the internet, the Portuguese authorities frown upon the buying and selling of tickets.
For a fan looking to buy a ticket in Portugal, buying a ticket or two on a street is unlikely to cause a problem. Police focus though on organised groups selling large amounts of tickets on the street. This crackdown is restricting supplies.
On the streets of Portugal, euro 2004 tickets for the open match of England versus France sold for up to 10 times the printed cost. This means that a ticket that sells for 100 euro, can easily sell for 1000 euro. Specialists have advised that you are better off lining up your ticket in advance of arriving -- either through friends, local ticket agencies or through online agencies. Shopping around is always your best bet.
If the price, legality and availability aren't enough to scare off a football fan wanting to buy a ticket for Euro 2004, what often stops them is the fear that the ticket is a counterfeit. It should come as no surprise that tickets are counterfeited, after all tickets for major football events are literally worth more than their weight in gold.
At every Football tournament fraudulent tickets will arise that fool almost everyone. That is until 2 people are holding what seems to be identical football ticket and trying to sit in the same seat, says Bill DuMar, a security expert. In response, anti-counterfeiting techniques on football and other ticket have become more potent each Euro Championship. Now they almost get the same protection as Government bank notes.
DuMar and other experts list 2 types of anti-counterfeit tickets. The obvious ones, such as see through windows and holographs, and the hidden, such as embedded security only seen under specific lights.
What are the ways to ensure a ticket you buy is authentic? DuMar says like every other purchase, it is all about trust. If you buy from a person on a street corner you are likely to get what you are buying, but until you sit in the seat you can't be sure. I've been on hand to see the looks on people's faces after they realise they paid through the nose for a ticket that is fake."
"My advice, if you are buying a ticket, stick with someone you trust."
One of the more popular online ticket agencies is: Razorgator