Aussie rules football league the AFL has said it is considering its ticketing policy after a systems failure hit Ticketek for its sale of AFL Finals Week 1 tickets for matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Ticketek’s system froze after ticket sales opened for club members ahead of next week’s Richmond-Hawthorn and Melbourne-Geelong finals, which are both expected to come close to selling out the MCG.
The Sydney Swans-GWS Giants final, to be played at the SCG, was also affected. Ticketek’s website was later shut down and sales suspended, with the company stating the issue was caused by an operator error in the website traffic load balancing settings.
The AFL currently operates a policy whereby individual venues can choose their own ticketing partners. However, the league’s manager of fixtures and clubs, Travis Auld, suggested this could change.
He told SEN radio: “The frustration for us is that we just don’t have a seat at the table when it comes to selecting ticketing agents. It’s one of the last things we need to address when it comes to the fan experience and we’re determined to do so.
“We put a lot of time into setting up the finals and holding ticket prices and making sure we keep games accessible and affordable, and then we’re let down by situations like this. We’re as disappointed as anyone.”
Auld said the AFL would assess other ticketing “solutions” following this year’ s finals series. “We can’t continue to rely on someone else to deliver a poor experience to our fans,” he added.
“We’re certainly not walking away from this, we’re standing behind this and we’re holding the people that need to be held accountable, to account. But as we get through this finals series, we need to turn our minds to, ‘what is the right solution for our fans?’”
Ticketek Australia has said it will waive transaction fees on AFL Finals Week 1 tickets purchased from today (Wednesday) for matches at the MCG and SCG. Geoff Jones, the chief executive of Ticketek, said in a statement: “We understand the excitement that footy finals bring and all the Ticketek team are disappointed that website issues impacted our service delivery to those fans.
“I also apologise to the management and staff of our venue partners, the competing clubs and the AFL for the disruption to what is shaping as a phenomenal finals series.”
Earlier this month, Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) announced it had extended its partnership with Ticketek Australia to continue ticketing for the MCG.