2006 World Cup Germany Tickets Are Still Available....For The Extremely Wealthy!

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Some 150000 of the best seats at the 2006 World Cup including tickets for the final remain unsold and are available for public purchase.

But fans wishing to jump the queue and guarantee tickets ahead of the next sales lottery should check their credit ratings carefully.

Prices start at 1900 euros ($2281 US) plus sales tax for a package that will get you into three early-round games and go up to 336000 euros ($403300) for a 20-person box at all six matches in Berlin's Olympic Stadium including the final.

Swiss-based company iSE-Hospitality holds the rights to sell a total of 346950 tickets in a variety of hospitality packages following a public tender from FIFA.

Close to half the seats have been sold to date the company told Reuters.

"The German market is of course challenging but we are certain we will sell out iSE Hospitality's deputy CEO Andreas Hacker said in an emailed response to questions.

The pace of sales is in contrast to the mad scramble for tickets by the regular channel on the official World Cup website -- understandably perhaps given the difference in prices.

The initial offering of 812000 tickets from organisers was oversubscribed by 10 to one and the next significant sales window when around 300000 tickets go up for grabs after December's draw is likely to prove even more popular.

The ordinary tickets on public sale start at 35 euros for the lowest category seats at opening round games.

They go up to 600 euros for the most expensive seats at the final but there are relatively modest price points along the way with the cheapest tickets costing 90 euros for the semi-final and 120 euros for the final.

The contrast with the hospitality offer is stark with most of the seats priced well out of range of most fans.

The packages are clearly aimed primarily at businesses wishing to entertain clients -- the tickets come with food drink parking and special stadium access included -- but the company confirmed there was nothing to stop any individual with the money securing tickets on a first-come first-served basis.

"The reasons behind purchases so far have been clear Hacker said. "No other event can offer anything like the opportunities for networking and entertaining at the World Cup."

The big challenge for the company owned by iSE AG which is itself a joint venture by advertising group Dentsu Inc. and communications agency Publicis Groupe is to ensure they sell their cut of tickets for all 64 games not just the big attractions.

A spokesman for the World Cup organising committee said they could take back any seats from unsold hospitality packages and re-offer them to fans but the company is confident it will not be necessary.

"It's obvious that companies and individuals will have an interest in certain matches more than others Hacker said. "But all of the matches will have an amazing atmosphere.

"It's the World Cup. At the end of the year the worst thing would be to say you weren't even there."