Politics aside, anticipation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is rising all over the world as the planet’s most popular sport is about to host its biggest event. Since it takes place only once every four years, the World Cup’s singular ability to bring the biggest stars in soccer together on one stage makes it a truly unique spectacle for anyone lucky enough to see it first hand. As if things couldn’t get crazier, Brazil, the most successful country in the history of international football, is hosting the Cup.

“The Green and Yellow” are five time champions and appeared in three straight finals as recently as 1994-2002, but their failure to qualify for the championship match in the last two World Cups has the pressure cooker boiling before the first kickoff happens for the hosts on June 12. That interest, anticipation, and hope is manifesting itself on the secondary ticket market, where 2014 World Cup prices are soaring like a long ball down the pitch.

The Brazilian national team is of course a huge draw at this year’s World Cup. The opening match between Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo is by far the most expensive match of the group stage at an average ticket price of $3,072, and the second-most expensive group stage match is Brazil’s game on June 17 against Mexico in Fortaleza ($2,205).

The cheapest seats currently available for those games are $1,465 and $1,324 each, respectively – more than the average ticket price of any of the other group stage games. Beyond the group stage, tickets for the eight Round of 16 games are averaging $1,178 per ticket. The price tag goes up to an average of $1,550 for the quarterfinals matches, $3,300 for the semifinals and an astounding $5,956 for a ticket to the World Cup Final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13. That’s more than double the average cost of a ticket to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium this year ($2,536).

World Cup Tickets

The hottest ticket of the United States National Team’s three group stage games is their match against Germany in Recife on June 26; tickets are averaging $894, making it the 6th-most expensive game of the entire group stage. USA-Portugal tickets in Manaus are being resold for an average of $790 each, and USA-Ghana tickets for June 16 in Natal are going for $723.

The very cheapest ticket you can buy right now to see the United States is for the Ghana game: $379 for a Category 2 ticket. Sixty three% of World Cup ticket shoppers on SeatGeek are from the U.S. Brazil follows at 13%, followed by Australia and Canada each at 4% and the U.K. at 3%. Considering those numbers in tandem with the fact that Americans bought more tickets in the original public sale than residents of any other non-Brazilian nation, it’s safe to say that Americans are some of the most heavily invested World Cup fans on the planet from a ticket perspective.

If you’re in the market for World Cup tickets, we’d recommend waiting to buy tickets until the match you’re hoping to attend gets closer on the calendar. For major sporting events like these, SeatGeek normally sees the average ticket price on the secondary market fall anywhere from 20-40% over the course of the two months preceding the event. In the case of this year’s Super Bowl, prices fell 40% in just one week from the night of the conference championship games to the Sunday before the Super Bowl. Considering American fans will be investing far more in travel for the World Cup, relatively speaking, saving that much on your tickets alone could be the difference in meeting your Brazil budget or getting a red card and missing it altogether.

Past World Cup Champions

Year Winner Opponent City State/Country Venue
2010 Spain Netherlands Johannesburg South Africa Soccer City
2006 Italy France Berlin Germany Olympiastadion
2002 Brazil Germany Yokohama Japan Int’l Stadium Yokohama
1998 France Brazil Saint-Denis France Stade de France
1994 Brazil Italy Pasadena CA Rose Bowl

World Cup Highlights

2014 World Cup Preview

Brazil Soccer History

US World Cup Draw