From San Isidro to the final in Paris: “We are selling football tickets for 7,000 and 8,000 euros”


The demand for tickets for the meeting between Liverpool and Real Madrid and the bulls ruined the business. “It’s exhausting. There are many plans,” admits Emilio Rivero, one of the most sought-after resellers in Madrid

Tickets for the Champions League Final
Tickets for the Champions League Final in ParisJose Maria Presa

Emilio Navarro has been in the ticket resale business for 34 years. It is considered an intermediary in the purchase and sale of tickets. He insists that the activity he shares with his brother is legal. It had a physical office that closed due to the pandemic in Plaza de Castilla and the transfer to digital put the work on the web, ,Jose Ramón de la Morena nicknamed me the Galactic of Revelry, What I do is not illegal. They call me to find tickets for them and I, who know where to find them, look for them, take them to customers and they pay me.”

In the spring the town boils with plans and his phone can’t stop ringing. “We have worked a lot in recent weeks. With Champions League qualifiers, concerts, finals in Paris and San Isidro we are working from 9am to 11pm. The truth is that it ends”, Football drives Emilio Rivero’s business. Between now and Saturday, he expects to stick to the telephone. “For the final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, we are selling Category 1 tickets for between 7,000 and 8,000 euros, Others cost 1,500 euros and we buy them for 1,400. There is no tango margin. I will have to spend 34 more years working until I get the primitive.”“There’s too much demand and the prices are too high,” he jokes.

The customer no longer pays. “The elegance that existed before the resale buyer has changed. Before they gave you the price. Now they ask how much you sell for. When we’ve contacted, we go to the cafeteria or restaurant and give them a ticket with a guarantee.” Let us not scam like others. There are many scammers They call us from all over Spain and other countries.”, There are still some dates at the San Isidro Fair that excite the public. “The next is on the 27th, for which they are paying 250 or 300 euros for a ticket on the 9th floor. I have three or four pairs of tickets left,” he says.

Emilio Rivero lived next to the Falla Theater and contacted scalpers during the Cádiz Carnival. “When he had a spare ticket, he gave it to me. I started working with him when I was 14 or 15. And when I turned 17, I came to Barnabu. This is a job you have to love. I have tried to train others but they didn’t know. You have to be a little smarter.”

He was arrested along with fifty other scalpers during the 2004 Olympics in Greece. “We spent five hours in the dungeon. In the end, the police bought us all the tickets. We all know each other in Spain. I have judges, policemen, bank directors or actors as clients.”

Those who haven’t traveled to the French capital can try the substitute event through a screen placed in the Bernabeu. Each member can pick up two tickets to watch the match at Concha Espina at the Real Madrid ticket offices: an invitation to a partner and a 10-euro ticket. “Now you can only withdraw one ticket and many scalpers offer 20 euros for each card to resell those tickets“, comments a member who has more than 20 years of seniority in the club. He prefers to remain anonymous. He has not rented any of his cards. “Seven people at my job asked me to get a ticket with four of their cards. more diverse friends. To go to Barnabu on a Saturday is a real madness”.

“Bull? Doomed”

Toros La Central is a ticket office located on the esplanade of Las Ventas. The manager prefers not to give his name or even allows the use of initials. He combines his work as an administrative assistant with the official resale of bulls. “It’s not about throwing the house out the window. We have to do other things because it doesn’t fill the stomach.” A part of tourism is back and it is positive. Bulls without tourism, despite the fact that Madrid is a big capital, will not fill up,” he says.

He and Emilio both note “a certain pleasure to spend. People want to go out, go places.” However, in Las Ventas, nothing compares to the happy 90s. Friday is the best day of this San Isidro. “It’s a business that sells oranges. The profit is the difference in price. Informal resale hurts us. They’re so bad looking people. I’m surprised they buy from them”, Like the rest of the agencies, it has a series of fixed subscriptions issued by the company. “We have regular customers who always buy from us with a 20% surcharge. On the first day of the fair they pick up their tickets without queuing. We deliver quality. Like Sun tickets which are actually on line 4 next to 3 People come looking for him and we recommend him”.

At Toros La Central, they have 50 to 60% of tickets sold. “Good afternoon we run out of paper”, After 35 years as the head of the kiosk, he will be the last person in his family to take the business forward. “Others don’t want to know anything and since they don’t give enough to live, they’ll kill me.”

Offers and buys tickets in M. Milanuncios, “Bulls? If you talk to me about the Champions League final, yeah, nothing to do with anything else.” His sphere of influence is Madrid, although his pronunciation is Andalusian. “Wasted? No, next,” he says before suddenly hanging up.

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