Viagogo has accused World Rugby of “anti-competitive” practices over the sale of Rugby World Cup 2023 tickets.
The resale business, responding to criticism over the price of tickets being offered on its marketplace for next year’s tournament in France, said organisers were restricting access to fans in an attempt to control the market.
World Rugby is to open an official RWC 2023 resale platform at the end of 2022 for ticketholders wishing to resell one or more tickets in a safe and secure way. It said that only passes purchased through official platforms will grant stadium access when tickets for individual matches went on sale last month.
Viagogo believes the attempt to control primary and secondary ticketing is bad for consumers.
“We believe passionately in the benefits of multi-channel ticket distribution because it provides fans with greater choice, flexibility, and healthy competition,” Viagogo said in a statement released to the Irish Examiner.
“Efforts by event organisers to restrict such a system, particularly by placing purchasing and resale restrictions on certain secondary platforms, amount to a transparent attempt to control the market.
“This harms consumers by reducing their options and limiting their access to a vibrant, competitive market.”
Viagogo was responding to the Irish Examiner after criticism over the cost of tickets being offered for Ireland’s opening World Cup game against Romania. The newspaper cites €28 Cat 1 tickets selling for €410 and €116 Cat 4 tickets jumping to more than €1,300 in value.
“As we’d expect for a major tournament, some tickets for Ireland’s opener against Romania are being listed at eye-catching prices but this is not the entire story,” explained Viagogo. “The average price a fan is paying for tickets on Viagogo is €172 and fans have even purchased tickets as low as €61.
“We recommend fans monitor prices closely and wait for the excitement surrounding World Rugby’s most recent ticketing phase to dissipate and for prices to level out.”