Netball fan upset by restricted view

Last updated 16:50 26/10/2012

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From where netball fan Leonie Hunter-Smith was sitting, the close game between the Silver Ferns and England was rather one-sided.

When she took her seat at TSB Arena on Thursday night, she was ‘‘hacked off’’ to discover she could only see one goal.

The Khandallah resident had bought a family pass to the Quad Series game on presale more than two months ago, for her daughter Gabrielle’s 12th birthday.

Though she was unable to choose where her party of four sat, she was assured of the ‘best seats available’.

‘‘I was sure we’d get good seats, since I bought them so early.’’

But when Mrs Hunter-Smith, her two daughters , and her elderly mother arrived at the venue, they were disappointed.

Their view was limited to what could be seen through the glass of an entrance way - and they couldn’t see the nearest goal at all. 

‘‘I saw the entire thing with a handrail going right through the middle of my vision - and through the glass of an entrance way.

‘‘We came away from sore backs from twisting sideways for the entire night.’’

Mrs Hunter-Smith said those sitting in the seats behind her would have also been affected.

‘‘Other people looked amazed that they’d been sold tickets that looked out on a stand of people that did have a good view.

‘‘The guy sitting next to me said just the same - that he was disgusted - and he probably had a better view than we did.’’

She estimates that the four tickets cost her just over $100.

‘‘It wasn’t wildly expensive, but that’s not the point.

"My mother used to be a rep player for Wellington, so she was really excited - and she’s in her 80s.

‘‘I thought, this is just not fair.’’ 

She said the experience would make her think twice about attending future events at TSB Arena.

‘‘They just cram everybody in and sell every seat, regardless of whether you’re actually going to see anything.

‘‘It’s a bit sad for Wellington because we don’t have a lot of venues.

‘‘It’s in such a good location - you think they could have done better.’’

Positively Wellington Venues chief executive Glenys Coughland said that the matter was being investigated ‘‘with urgency’’ by Positively Wellington Venues, Ticketek and Netball New Zealand.

‘‘This is a regrettable situation, especially when the ticket holder booked two months out.

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‘‘It appears that [Mrs Hunter-Smith] was sold what would normally be labelled a ‘restricted view’ seat, and we need to understand what happened on this occasion.’’

- The Dominion Post

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