Promoters of the first leg on the Galaxy's postseason tour hope that David Beckham's arrival Monday morning in Jakarta can improve tepid ticket sales for Wednesday's friendly against Indonesia's national team.
The Jakarta Post reported that only 5,000 tickets had been sold for the clash at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, but the Galaxy's arrival Monday drew wide media attention in the Indonesian capital, and promoters would like to see that interest boost attendance.
“[Ticket sales] are rather sad,” Mahaka Sport director Hasani Abdul Gani told the newspaper Monday. “As of last night, 10,000 tickets had been reserved but only 5,000 tickets have been paid for.”
Mahaka Sport's aim is to sell at least 40,000, and Hasani said he was “still optimisitic. ... The arrival of Beckham will boost ticket sales.”
Ticket prices range from $8.25 to $82.50.
The Galaxy head to Manila afterward for a game Saturday against the Philippines' national team, then wrap up the trip next Tuesday in Australia against the Melbourne Victory.
The Galaxy was greeted by a large crowd at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, with media making note of Beckham's apparel (black shirt), tattoos and size of his security detail (six men). There were more on hand when the team's bus arrived at the Ritz-Carlton, in the Kuningan section of Jakarta.
The Jakarta Post reported that the hotel has assigned 30 security guards to watch over the Galaxy. Beckham has his own security team, and the Galaxy always travels abroad with a security officer.
BECKHAM'S TRIBUTE: Beckham paid tribute to Wales manager (and former star midfielder) Gary Speed, who was found dead by hanging Sunday. He was 42. “I think he was an amazing, talented player, a player that had such a glittering career and just began a great career in management as well. ... It is a sad time to lose a man like this,” Beckham told media in Jakarta.
WORTH NOTING: Fox Soccer Channel will televise the tour. Wednesday's game begins at 4 a.m. Pacific time. Saturday's game kicks off at 3:30 a.m. and the match in Australia at 12:30 a.m. There will be replays, on FSC and Fox Deportes, at more reasonable hours. ... Indonesia's national team will be bolstered by U-23 players, fresh off a silver-medal performance at the South East Asian Games, which wrapped up last week in Jakarta. ... The Ritz-Carlton in Kuningan was one of two Jakarta hotels bombed in twin July 2009 attacks, killing nine and injuring more than 50. ... Media coverage of the Galaxy in Indonesia has included such detail as how many rooms the Galaxy have booked (69) and where they're located (eighth, ninth and 10th floors).