Sale of 'complimentary' tickets to All Blacks v Lions test under investigation
New Zealand Rugby is investigating after a pair of what appear to be complimentary tickets to the All Blacks test match against the British and Irish Lions in Wellington went on sale for $1000.
Faith Guild said she bought the tickets from someone she would not identify for about $1000. She was now selling them on Facebook because she could no longer go to the game, at Westpac Stadium on July 1.
She was unaware the tickets were marked "Comp" – suggesting they were originally complimentary – when she advertised them, she said.
Under the Major Events Management Act (MEMA), which covers the Lions tour, the sale of a ticket "for a value greater than the original sale price" is not allowed.
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NZ Rugby's general manager of the Lions series, Nigel Cass, said it was a good reminder to fans that they should buy tickets only from official sources.
"We're investigating this specific issue with our ticketing provider to determine if the tickets have gotten into the wrong hands.
"If this is the case, they will be cancelled and reissued to the person they were intended for.
"Under MEMA, reselling or trading a ticket for a value greater than its original sale price, either in person or online, is an offence punishable by a fine of up to $5000."
The 10-match Lions tour, which stretches across seven cities over six weeks and kicks off on June 3 in Whangarei, is a marquee event that is reflected in its ticket prices, which range from $149 to $449.
Guild's tickets are in the "bronze" covered section behind Westpac Stadium's goalposts. Had they been on sale officially, they would have been at the lower end of the price range.
Avid rugby fan Jeremy Shannon said the seller and NZ Rugby should be "ashamed of themselves" for allowing the situation to happen.
As a Westpac Stadium season ticket holder who entered the public ballot for Lions tickets and missed out, he said it was not a good look to see tickets that appeared to have been free selling for such a high price.
About 350,000 tickets have been sold for the tour, which features matches against the Provincial Barbarians, the Maori All Blacks and the country's Super Rugby teams, as well as three tests.