Birmingham's leisure chief yesterday defended a decision to charge people to watch England's World Cup games on a giant city centre screen.
Coun John Alden, the cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, said the summer's council-organised World Cup events provided a whole range of entertainment.
Coun Alden (Con Harborne) said Birmingham's month-long World Cup festival would be the envy of other European cities.
More than 3,000 fans are expected to congregate on Millennium Point at a Fan Park to watch live games on a 60 square metre screen - the largest in the city and one of the biggest in Europe.
Spectators will be able to sit on synthetic turf, and take advantage of waiter service from cafes and bars.
A full-sized beach soccer stadium will stage training sessions and a tournament for schools which could see city youngsters winning tickets to the World Cup Final.
The festival has caused controversy as spectators will be charged £3.50 to enter the complex. Family tickets for two adults and three children can be purchased for £10.
Coun Alden said: "This is one of the most ambitious events that Birmingham has staged and I would not have backed it if I did not think it was going to be a huge success.
"We are charging for the event, but people will have five hours of entertainment. It is not just about watching football on a big screen.
"People will also be able to enjoy a package of entertainment that will be the envy of other cities."
A huge floral trail, stretching from the Bullring to Millennium Point, will help visitors locate the festival, which is to be decked out with a giant World Cup wall planner and flags of competing nations.
The T-Mobile sponsored Fan Park will be the city's only open air site for watching football.