SA Rugby, the governing body of rugby union in South Africa, has introduced a loyalty programme in an effort to tackle touts and get tickets to genuine fans.

The new system will be put in place for the Cape Town Sevens after last year’s event sold out in 44 minutes, according to SA Rugby Mag.

The governing body has opted to bring in the loyalty programme after its research reportedly highlighted that the ticket-buying experience left fans frustrated and without a ticket.

The programme will allow fans to order up to seven tickets each for an additional R75 (£3.95/€4.40/$5.14) per ticket. It ensures the chance to obtain a ticket, as well as allowing successful loyalty members to have first right of refusal to purchase tickets to future editions.

“We did a lot of research and the buying experience over the past three years has left many supporters frustrated and disappointed,” said Jurie Roux, SA Rugby chief executive, according to SA Rugby Mag.

“When demand exceeds supply – as it does for the Cape Town Sevens – there will always be those who miss out, but we wanted to create a better and less random system to allow the true supporter to lay his or her hands on tickets.”

This year’s Cape Town Sevens event will see the most expensive tickets costing R325 per day, while cheaper tickets will cost R250 and R195 per day respectively, which excludes loyalty programme charges.

Roux added: “We are introducing a loyalty programme for this and future editions – which will put tickets in hands of dedicated fans – although it does come at an additional cost. But some tickets will also be available at the normal price through the lottery system.

“We have deliberately kept ticket prices for the Cape Town Sevens low. The most expensive ticket last year was R300 for an unbelievable eight-hour experience, featuring the best sevens players in the world and some really engaging off-field entertainment.”

Image: Henning Schlottmann