The exodus of thousands of Liverpool supporters to Switzerland is under way for the Europa League final.
Some 2,700 fans are expected to fly out to Basel from Liverpool John Lennon Airport on Wednesday ahead of the clash with Spanish club Sevilla.
Others are travelling more circuitous routes to St Jakob-Park as they board planes, trains and ferries to France, Germany and Italy en route to their final destination.
Liverpool’s massive worldwide fanbase will see some devoted fans jetting in from further afield to mainland Europe.
The ticket arrangements for the showpiece event have been widely criticised, with Liverpool receiving an allocation of just 10,236 for the 35,000-seat stadium, with their opponents receiving a similar amount.
It has led to inflated prices being offered online for the match with reports of tickets on sale for up to £30,000 for a seat in the VIP section of the ground.
A £65 ticket in the Liverpool end was also on offer on a ticketing website for £7,520.
Liverpool has strongly advised fans not to travel to Basel unless they have an official match ticket as it warned the city’s “surrounding infrastructure is only set up for match attendees”. All local accommodation is said to be sold out.
Team manager Jurgen Klopp initially invited all Liverpool fans to Basel after the semi-final victory over Villareal but later admitted “that was not too smart”.
He said: “Basel is a nice city, but Basel is not ready for [all of] us and it was my mistake. I have to take back the invitation to Basel - please, only people with tickets go there because anything else would be chaos and we don’t want this. We have to concentrate on football.”
The Merseyside club and broadcaster BT Sport are staging a joint screening of the final at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
Doors at the Echo Arena will open at 6pm with 9,000 tickets available costing £5 each, with proceeds going to charity.
A total of 14 dedicated flights to Basel for football fans are expected to depart from Liverpool John Lennon Airport on Wednesday morning.
Airport bosses have brought in additional staff and volunteers to accommodate the extra volumes of passengers.
According to figures from Ticketbis.net, an international fan-to-fan ticket marketplace, the current starting price for a ticket is £645.
“Despite English teams not doing so well as the Spanish clubs in Europe of late, they still generate a larger demand for tickets,” said Ander Michelena, CEO of Ticketbis.net.
“If we consider the last five Europa League finals, you’ll see that the most expensive prices are found for the matches that involve two Premier League teams, Chelsea and Liverpool.”
This year’s final, however, far out-strips the £277 average ticket price for Chelsea’s game against Benfica in Amsterdam three years ago.
The highest sale price recorded on the site so far for one ticket was £2,335 bought by a Russian fan.
When tickets went on general sale the most expensive category one seat sold by UEFA was £130.