Organisers of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France have apologised after fans experienced glitches and long waiting times when the first tickets went on sale on Monday.
All 310,000 tickets available were sold on the first day of a Mastercard presale of City and Team packs, with 350 transactions per minute.
However, many fans reported problems with the ticket platform, with organisers admitting that website visitors were met with error messages for seven minutes in the early afternoon.
France 2023 director general Claude Atcher told reporters: “We’re well aware that there are a lot of people who were not able to purchase their tickets despite a long wait. We’re sorry about that.
“There were seven minutes during which there were indeed error messages. Between 1:30 and 1:37pm precisely. There were also people who waited a very long time, that’s the truth.
“We assume the ‘first arrived, first served’ principle. It has negative effects but that’s our philosophy.”
Despite the technical challenges, Atcher has been delighted to see the response from fans to the 2023 tournament.
Atcher said: “All the tickets provided for in the Team packs and City packs available in the first phase of sales have found takers. Which means that over the whole day, we sold 310,000 tickets in less than 12 hours and two years before the competition.
“After some research, the World Cup or any sporting event had never met with such success and aroused such collective enthusiasm.”
The next stage of sales begins on Thursday with 310,000 tickets to be made available to all those who have registered with the 2023 Family programme, ahead of the general sale launch in April.
A total of 2.6 million tickets will go on sale before the tournament starts in September 2023.
Earlier this week, organisers said: “With 500,000 people registered to the 2023 Family and tickets sold in real time, demand for rugby’s pinnacle tournament is expected to surpass previous events. In the event of a high volume of fans trying to access tickets.rugbyworldcup.com at the same time, a queue system will be implemented to allow fans who are on the ticketing website the chance to purchase packs easily and without issues.
“Rugby enthusiasts waiting to access the platform will have an option to be alerted by email when they reach the front of the queue. Fans also have 48 hours to confirm their selection and can make phased payments.”
Image: Rugby World Cup