The unprecedented edition that will take place next year in two geographically very distant South American nations seems a risky bet
Colombia's national team players warming up before the match against Chile in the Copa América quarter-finals in Brazil's Arena Corinthians /AP Photo
LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
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Conmebol surprised the sports world when it confirmed the first Copa America in history organized in two countries. Those chosen for this 2020 unprecedented edition are Colombia and Argentina. Fans and citizens in general are glad of this decision, in theory, many more people will be able to attend the stadiums in this continental competition.
However, some other fans and especially leaders and journalists are skeptical about it. The first investigations related to the organization supports that position, since the southern zone of the competition, held in Argentina, will be more expensive.
The amount of money that will be generated with this Copa America is huge. Apparently, it is a master move to favor money generation than favoring the fans, who will enjoy the championship despite the questionable decisions of the directive board. The Copa America, they say, was created with the argument of combining the South American calendar with the European one, but it seems more like an economic decision.
More tax, more expensive
The southern zone of the championship will be more expensive than the northern zone. This is due to two major factors: the distance between venues and taxes in Argentina.
First, when comparing the headquarters of Colombia with those of Argentina, those of the southerners are much more apart from each other. Taking the respective capitals as a reference, the nearest venue to Bogotá is Medellin at approximately 260 miles, and the furthest one is Barranquilla at around 622 miles away.
In Argentina, the nearest headquarters to Buenos Aires is Córdoba at about 431 miles, while the other three locations are more than 620 miles away. While it is true that the Bombonera Stadium is close to the Cilindro de Avellaneda, the other locations are quite distant, which means more transportation costs.
Second, taxes make Argentina a much more expensive host than Colombia. According to Juan Ricardo Ortega, DIAN's (National Tax and Customs Department) former director, Colombia will not tax tickets. "Tickets will be worth what the championship establishes and no tax will be paid by Conmebol or the consumers," Ortega said in an interview with Caracol Radio.
In contrast, until mid-April the latest information was provided on the position of Argentina, which, according to MSN, would maintain the collection of taxes due to the economic difficulties the country is currently facing.
More matches and much more money
According to Conmebol, the Copa America Colombia and Argentina 2020 will implement a new competition format. First, the 10 South American countries will be joined by Australia and Qatar to reach a total of 12 participating teams. Second, the South American countries will be distributed in two zones: North and South, which would guarantee that the countries will be in the nearest headquarters and the invited countries will be drawn to define in which zone they will play.
There will be 38 matches, 12 more than in the current format. In turn, that generates more money for television broadcasts and more by ticketing in each of the 12 games added.
Argentina inaugurará la CONMEBOL Copa América 2020 y Colombia acogerá la gran final diecinueve años después. La CONMEBOL Copa América 2020 ya cuenta con un calendario aprobado por FIFA, la nueva edición del torneo iniciará el 12 de junio de 2020 en Argentina, y celebrará la gran final en Colombia. Por primera vez el torneo contará con una doble sede, con el objetivo de acercar el fútbol sudamericano a todos los aficionados del continente. De esta manera, cada una de las sedes contará con una fase de grupos, dos partidos de cuartos y una semifinal.
To get an idea of the cost of television rights for the Copa America, you have to see the cost of the one that just happened. According to Telefuturo, only the Globo Group paid the overwhelming figure of 51 million dollars to be able to broadcast the matches in Brazil.
With more games, the different television channels must pay more money each. According to the newspaper As, the cost of tickets for a Copa America game will be between USD$ 60 and USD$ 400 in presale and it will increase its cost as the competition progresses. It's a great deal.
The venues suppose enormous expenses
The questioning about the factor of fans displacement between venues arises as a result of the analysis of costs involved. It is necessary to clarify that, according to Conmebol, Colombia will have four venues (Bogotá, Cali, Medellin, and Barranquilla) and Argentina will have six (the Capital and the Province of Buenos Aires will have 2 stadiums, plus Córdoba, Mendoza, San Juan, and Santiago del Estero).
The economic situation of each country will determine the championship's situation, such as transportation and lodging. However, one can take as an example how much a Colombian had to pay to see his team in Brazil in 2019. According to the newspaper As, the most expensive plan was around USD $ 1411 by airplane and the most economic was around USD $ 585 through land, not including the price of the tickets.
— Fútbol ⚽ Moderno (@FutbolModerno_) 27 de junio de 2019