It’s been more than 47 years since Pele played his debut game for the New York Cosmos, and now, a rare ticket stub from the game is up for auction through Heritage Auctions.
Pele played in his debut game for the New York Cosmos on June 15, 1975 before 21,278 fans at Downing Stadium on Randall’s Island, New York City.
This is the first ticket stub from Pele’s debut Cosmos game to be auctioned through Heritage. The stub has been authenticated and graded by professional sports authenticator as “PR 1.
The opening bid is set at $1,250. Auction link: https://sports.ha.com/itm/miscellaneous-collectibles/general/1975-new-york-cosmos-ticket-stub-pele-s-first-cosmos-game-psa-pr-1-population-1-1-/a/50057-52692.s?
Open for Internet and Proxy bidding through Friday, July 22, 2022 at 10 PM CT. Extended bidding starts at 10:00 pm CT Friday night, but only available to bidders who submitted an internet or proxy bid prior to Friday night. • Extended bidding and the auction ends 30 minutes after the final bid. • Extended bidding “renews” for 30 minutes with each bid during extended bidding.
- Widely considered the greatest soccer player of all time, Pele led Brazil to three World Cup titles, the first in 1958 when he was just 17-years-old.
- For his Brazilian club Santos, Pele scored 1,091 goals over 19 seasons.
- Pele came out of retirement to join the NY Cosmos to help advance the sport in the USA.
- In 1975, the Cosmos were a ragtag team of misfit journeyman and college players, but their ambitious GM Clive Toye, with the backing of owners Warner Communications, set out to change that by bringing Pele out of retirement.
About Pele’s Contract:
- Pele joined the Cosmos on June 10, 1975 on a then-massive salary of $1.4 million per year.
- The Cosmos worked out a unique contract where he was registered as holding several jobs in order to minimize his taxes. He was even listed as a Warner recording artist.
- At the new conference where 34-year-old Pele signed his contract, there were about 200 members of the world press crowded into a small room, whereas only a handful of news rookies and interns were the regulars covering the Cosmos prior to Pele’s arrival.
About the Game:
- As early as 10 A.M., fans were lined up at the ticket windows and as late as 4:30, a full hour after the game had started, a flock of people were still there, to the delight of multi-lingual ticket scalpers who were getting $20 for a $6 ticket.
- Upon hearing that their star’s debut would be broadcast internationally, the groundsman had to resort to spray-painting the dusty, barren surface green to disguise how little grass was on it.
- After the game, Pele came off the pitch with his feet covered in green paint.
- Pele assisted on the first goal and scored the second on a header in the 2-2 tie against the Dallas Tornado. Pele also had a header hit the post.
- Attendance for the game was 21,278, nearly triple the average for a Cosmo home game prior to Pele’s arrival.
- About 300 members of the media from 22 countries attended the game.
- This game was televised to 13 countries, including the USA by CBS, which attracted about 10 million viewers on Father’s Day, a record American TV audience for soccer.