World Cup Ticket Row

The Rugby World Cup doesn’t start til 2015, yet there are already problems around ticketing.

According to an article in the Rugby Paper, Ian Ritchie who is the head of the RFU has written to all the Twickenham Stadium debenture holders to inform them that they will not get guaranteed seats at the Rugby World Cup events due to the demands set out by the Tournament body.

Debentures at Twickenham are issued by the Rugby Football Union and and give the holder 10 or 15 years of ‘rights’ to purchase a ticket at face value.

So those people who have paid significant amounts of money are quite rightly upset that they will not be able to use them at the biggest rugby event in the world when it is hosted by their home stadium.  Ironically the headline for the ad campaign ran by the RFU to sell South Stand debentures reads “Be in exactly the right place when history is made”.  Clearly that’s not possible for the Rugby World Cup!

We understand that the right to host these huge sporting events puts new restrictions in place.  We saw this recently with the London 2012 games – where shop owners were not allowed to use certain words or imagery in their windows.  But when someone has paid a significant amount of money upfront to get ticket privileges, we do think its unfair for them to not get some kind of special concession.

Yes, in some cases they are the business fat cats, but in many cases they are just very passionate rugby fans who love the national sport.  Apparently many of these fans are reconsidering their renewals – the cost is already significant.