Rugby union chiefs in England and Scotland have again been criticised over their relationship with secondary ticket sites after revelations that seats for this weekend’s crunch Calcutta Cup clash are being offered at 20 times face value.
England host Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations this weekend with both countries able to win the tournament.
However, the Sunday Mail newspaper reported that tickets for the Twickenham game are being offered at almost £3,000 ($3,700/€3,500) on resale sites Seatwave and GetMeIn!, which are owned by the English Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) official ticket partner, Ticketmaster, as well as Scottish Rugby’s officially recommended resale site, Viagogo.
“It’s outrageous. I’m shocked and amazed that any of these companies are being used for re-sale by sports bodies like the RFU,” said industry expert Reg Walker, of The Iridium Consultancy.
“Ticketmaster own Seatwave and GetMeIn! so how can the RFU allow them to get away with fans being ripped off like this?
“By outsourcing to companies like Ticketmaster, they are effectively enabling these companies to buy legitimacy.
“If the RFU’s official ticket partners are Ticketmaster, why don’t they simply turn round and put it in the contract, ‘You can be our ticket partner but you can’t list for our games on your re-sale sites?’”
Scottish rugby is riding the crest of a wave as the national team are hoping to claim their first Six Nations championship since 2000.
The Sunday Mail listed a number of tickets being sold for exorbitant prices, including two £90 tickets being offered on Seatwave for a staggering £5,900 when booking fees are added.
The average resale price per ticket on GetMeIn! is more than £1,000.
Walker told the Sunday Mail: “These crown jewel sporting events should be protected. It’s a wholly rigged market and it’s pricing the ordinary fan out of sport.
“They’re making attending sport a rich man’s pursuit at the expense of a whole strata of society – the potential players of tomorrow.”
The RFU earlier this year defended a 22 per cent price increase for top tickets to see England in this year’s championship.
Scottish rugby union chiefs were forced to defend their relationship with Viagogo after a ticketing scandal just ahead of the start of the tournament last month. The Daily Record newspaper found that Scottish Rugby directly handed over an allocation of tickets to the resale site, where some seats are now being sold at 17 times face value.
At the time, a Scottish Rugby spokesperson said: “It is a reality that a secondary ticket market will exist, either through fans being unable to attend an event and wanting to sell on their ticket or through people looking to take advantage of the demand created by the popularity of a match or concert. If a fan wants to sell a Scotland ticket, there is one place they can do that, legally, and one Scottish Rugby monitor.”