WARSAW, Poland -- Demand for tickets at Euro 2012 has hit a record of more than 12 million, UEFA said Friday, after an application deadline to see the championships in Poland and Ukraine closed.
n a statement, European football's governing body said that a total of 12,149,425 ticket requests had been made by fans worldwide.
"This sets an all-time record for the UEFA European Football Championship," it added, noting that it represented a 17 percent increase on the 2008 edition in Switzerland and Austria.
Demand for tickets traditionally outstrips supply at the quadrennial, 16-nation footballing showcase.
More than 550,000 tickets are available for the general public at Euro 2012. In 2008, 10.4 million people applied for the 300,000 on sale.
To be in with a chance this time, would-be buyers had the whole of March to sign up at a ticket portal on UEFA's website, and were limited to applying for four each.
UEFA has repeatedly underlined that it is the only authorised channel, and that other purported ticket sources could be fronts for rip-off merchants.
From April 19-22, a UEFA lottery will determine the lucky ticket applicants.
UEFA has said Euro 2012 ticket sales are set to generate 100 million euros.
The vast majority -- almost 88 percent -- of ticket applicants were from Poland and Ukraine, it noted Friday.
UEFA underlines that it has taken Poles' and Ukrainians' lower spending power into account.
The average monthly gross salary in Poland is around 800 euros ($1,128), and in Ukraine, just over 200 euros ($282). That compares with the equivalent of 4,000 euros ($5,642) in Switzerland and 2,000 euros ($2,821) in Austria.
The cheapest 2008 ticket was 45 euros ($64). The bottom rung in 2012 is 30 euros ($42).
At 600 euros ($846), the cost of high-end tickets is unchanged.