- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

PARIS (AP) - In tough economic times across Europe, the cheapest tickets for the 2016 European Championship will be sold for 25 euros ($28).

About 250,000 tickets for 43 of the 51 matches will be available at that price, with the most expensive seat for the final at the Stade de France costing 895 euros ($1,000).

In comparison, ticket prices at the previous edition of the continental tournament in Poland and Ukraine ranged from 30 to 600 euros ($34-$675).

“With this starting price we want to see all of society’s groups in the stadiums,” Euro 2016 organizing committee president Jacques Lambert said Tuesday at a news conference. “It was made possible by the high price of the prestige games, though we stayed in line with the ticket price at this type of event.”

The four “prestige matches” include the final, the opening match and both semifinals. A ticket for the semifinals in the best of four categories of seats will cost 495 euros ($557), while premium seats for the opening game are being sold for 595 euros ($670).

One million tickets for the general public will go on sale online for one month starting on June 10. An extra 800,000 tickets will be sold for supporters of specific teams after the tournament draw in December.

The 24-team tournament will be held in France from June 10-July 10 and organizers expect to make about 250 million euros ($280 million) through ticket sales.

For all matches, including the opening game and the final, tickets will be available for less than 100 euros ($112). Lambert added that UEFA will allocate 20,000 free tickets to poor children across France.

“We have been on the same wave link with UEFA president Michel Platini since the beginning,” Lambert said. “We want to ensure the Euro will be a big popular party accessible to the largest possible audience.”

A total of about 2.5 million tickets will be sold, with about 12 percent of the seats allocated to sponsors.

“Given that some of these tickets are redirected toward the fans via games and lotteries, in reality 80 percent of the tickets are for the general public,” Lambert said.

No tickets will be sold at stadiums during the tournament and there is no first-come, first-serve policy as tickets will be attributed randomly independently of the time of the application.

Fans will be allowed to apply for up to four tickets per game, with packages also available for spectators wishing to attend two matches in the same stadium.

In a bid to limit black market trading, organizers will also set up a resale platform where tickets will be sold at face value.

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