Lunar New Year Cup organisers face big losses - but they just want a big turnout
South China are prepared to bite the bullet and lose money to ensure a big turnout for the AET Lunar New Year Cup clash against the New York Cosmos at Hong Kong Stadium next month.
Ticket prices for the annual event, on February 19, have been set at HK$100 - the same as a domestic match - and HK$30 for concessionary tickets for the elderly and students.
There will also be a number of designated VIP and corporate box tickets at HK$280 and HK$180 respectively.
A Hong Kong Premier League ticket price ranges from HK$60 to HK$120.
"About 60 per cent of the tickets are to be sold at HK$100 and we hope the attractive price structure will bring more people to the stadium," said South China convenor Wallace Cheung Kwong-yung.
"The Lunar New Year is the biggest festival for the local community and it is important to keep the tradition by bringing in top-class performers. Cosmos are not without quality as they will be headed by former Spanish international players Raul and Marcos Senna among other star names.
"South China will need to perform at their best if they want to overcome the visitors and this can only happen with strong support from the fans.
"We will give out another 5,000 tickets for the underprivileged, so they also experience the festive joy."
About 60 per cent of the tickets are to be sold at HK$100 and we hope the attractive price structure will bring more people to the stadium
The organisers are hoping to sell 20,000 tickets, but that would not be enough to cover costs, estimated to be HK$5 million, which also includes US$200,000 in tournament prize money.
"We won't even think about profit," said Cheung. "We just want more people to come. There will also be a number of fun-filled events on the day for all the participants as this is a big festive occasion."
Unlike previous events which were contested by four teams over two days, the tournament will be decided on a single day as South China will need to prepare for their opening AFC Cup group match away to Global FC of the Philippines on February 25.