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The port town of Coquimbo was chosen to host the opening ceremony of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Chile 2008 on 19 November on the basis of an original online ticket sales competition. The four host cities of the tournament – Coquimbo, Chilian, La Florida and Temuco – participated in the simple, transparent and very democratic competition.
By the competition deadline at midnight on 31 May, Coquimbo had sold a winning 6,807 tournament ticket packages. This win also means that Chile will play their first two World Cup matches at Coquimbo’s new Francisco Sanchez Rumoroso stadium.
The mayors of the four cities heard the news while in New Zealand for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2008 draw, when Eduardo Rojas, executive director of the Local Organising Committee in Chile logged onto the Feria Ticket website on which sales were registered and announced the result. Coquimbo’s share accounted for 45.5% of the total of 14,969 ticket packages sold during the competition period. “We are extremely pleased with the result of this competition,” said Harold Mayne-Nicholls, president of the Chilean football association, speaking from Wellington. “Not only because we have sold the equivalent of 115,000 individual tickets and filled 35% of the total capacity of our new stadiums six months before the World Cup, but because communities have realised that this will be the major sporting event of the bicentenary.” “This win was a group effort,” said an emotional Oscar Pereira, mayor of Coquimbo, who minutes before hearing the result had signed a cooperation agreement with Auckland, which happens to be the host city for the opening match of New Zealand 2008. “We managed to mobilise the community and local businesspeople,” said Pereira. The four stadiums chosen for the competition, which will all be fully renovated, are the aforementioned Sanchez Rumoroso, Nelson Oyarzun (Chilian), el Municipal (La Florida) and Municipal German Becker (Temuco).