Collingwood has taken aim at the Australian Football League (AFL) and ticketing partner Ticketek over seat allocation and payment processes ahead of this weekend’s Grand Final.
Craig Kelly, the team’s chief executive, was unhappy that some top-tier P1 members missed out on tickets after Collingwood were only given 17,000 tickets for the game against Brisbane at the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground. Kelly said staff have been working to ensure all top-tier members who want to attend the game will get a ticket.
Many P1 members, who pay more than $1,000 per year, have complained that they have been allocated worse tickets than some with lower levels of membership. The Melbourne-based team has more than 100,000 members in total.
Kelly has called for teams to receive at least 20,000 tickets and said he is actively engaging with the AFL, Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), Ticketek and other stakeholders to push for changes and improve the system.
Further gripes related to payments, with Collingwood claiming fans were charged by Ticketek before they knew which seats they had been allocated. However, Kelly said the club has been informed that 700 members whose credit cards either failed or had insufficient funds are not at risk of losing their allocation.
“We call on Ticketek to improve their system so that the moment funds are taken out of bank accounts, tickets are released to members immediately,” Kelly said.
In a statement to media, a Ticketek spokesperson said the process ran in line with instruction from the AFL, Collingwood and MCG “without issue”.
The AFL’s formula for grand final tickets earmarks a maximum of 40% for competing teams’ members, which is only slightly more than the 30% for sponsors and commercial partners. Some 26% of tickets are reserved for the venue’s owner, MCC, with some offered to other AFL clubs and members.
“As a competing club, we receive 17,000 tickets which is far from enough for our most loyal members,” Kelly said. “We believe members who contribute their hard earned should be rewarded with a fair opportunity to witness our team on the biggest stage.
“We know Grand Finals are a case of high demand and limited availability which is why we call on the AFL to increase competing club allocations from 17,000 to at least 20,000 tickets.”