The Airfare Cost of Following Team USA at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is affecting travel between the United States and Brazil in several ways, namely increased demand and higher prices. See what Hopper has to say about following Team USA in the tournament.

Patrick Surry - Jan. 27, 2015

Every four years the FIFA World Cup takes the sports world by storm, captivating hundreds of millions of television viewers around the world. This year it takes place in Brazil, over a month-long period from June to July, and for American soccer fans it presents an intriguing opportunity to travel to the relatively nearby Brazil to take in all the sporting glory firsthand.

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Travel Demand from the United States to Brazil up 2,000% for 2014 FIFA World Cup

As the World Cup approaches, Hopper has been looking into travel patterns to see how the event has affected travel demand and airfare prices from the United States to Brazil. Turns out, the World Cup has affected the market by a lot. Travel demand is up considerably from this time last year, with some American cities seeing as much as a 2,000% surge in demand for flights to Brazil.

Prices are also up and, on average, travelers going to Brazil for the World Cup are paying a 38% premium on airfare. Travelers flying from New York, for instance, are 2156% more interested in flying to Brazil this summer, but they are seeing prices more than 40% higher than usual.

Prices for the 10 most popular U.S. origins going to the World Cup

But higher ticket prices and an average airfare of $1600 return between the United States and Brazil doesn't seem to be stopping true soccer fans from making the trek. One thing we've noticed is that of the 10 American cities with the highest increased demand for flights to Brazil, eight currently host a Major League Soccer team and the other two have previously hosted soccer teams.

Ticket prices to Natal and from Recife for the 10 most interested American cities

Following Team USA at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

But OK, so while we know how much it costs to get to Brazil, most American soccer fans will want to follow Team USA in the tournament. So let’s take a look at how much it costs to go to the Team USA games.

While we don’t know how far any team will make it in the tournament, the first round games have already been scheduled from June 12 to June 26 and will see each each team play three matches in three different Brazilian cities.


Photo by Shine 2010/Flickr.

The United States is in Group G – with Germany, Ghana and Portugal – and will play its opponents in the cities of Natal, Manaus and Recife. So, in addition to spending the $1,600 on the average airfare to Brazil, supporters will need to spend another $557 to fly between the three cities hosting Team USA matches.

The full breakdown of team groups, game cities and pricing can be found in Hopper’s in-depth research report on traveling to the World Cup.

Of course, in addition to the games, travelers will also be able to see three amazing Brazilian cities. Team USA’s first game takes place on June 16 versus Ghana in Natal, followed by a match against Portugal in Manaus on June 22 and ending against Germany in Recife on June 26.

More information on each of these cities can be found in Hopper’s travel guide to the Brazilian World Cup host cities, but suffice it to say that Natal and Recife are both known for their beautiful beaches, while Manaus is an excellent jumping-off-point for an exploration of the Amazon Rainforest.

So to recap, here are a few things that travelers thinking of flying to the World Cup should know:

  1. U.S. cities are seeing an increase in interest for flights to Brazil during the World Cup of between 1,000 and 2,000%.
  2. On average prices to Brazil during the World Cup have increased 38% as compared to last year.
  3. Houston, Washington D.C. and New York show the highest increase in demand and also have the most expensive flights between the United States and Brazil.
  4. Once in Brazil, it is most expensive to follow Team USA and Team Japan for all the first round games and least expensive to follow Team Belgium.

Looking for more detailed info? Take a look at Hopper’s full report on how the World Cup has affected travel demand between the United States and Brazil.

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