Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, and Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby. Photo: Reuters/Paul Childs

CAPE TOWN - SA Rugby on Wednesday introduced a a new ticketing system (at www.capetown7s.com) for the Cape Town Sevens designed to get dedicated fans to the event, while taking the stress out of the sales day rush. The Cape Town Sevens will be held on December 8 and 9. 

Last year all the tickets available to the general public sold out in 44 minutes. Fans who had queued for hours for kiosks to open were left frustrated while those who chose the online route had to be quick on the finger or miss out. The event was an overwhelming success but research by SA Rugby highlighted that the ticket purchasing experience left many fans disenchanted.

“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 CEO. “When demand exceeds supply – as it does for the HSBC 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.

“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.”

Roux said that the new approach had been based on research: “We looked at international best practice for high-interest sporting events such as the Olympics and single sport world cups and we surveyed the fans who were able to buy tickets last year.

“The response was overwhelming with 81,9 percent saying they would be interested in joining a loyalty programme. Of those an astonishing 93 percent said they would be prepared to pay a premium to ensure their entry and their seat!

“With those learnings we looked at how we could provide certainty for the most dedicated of fans while opening the door to more supporters to have a chance of purchasing, regardless of how quickly or slowly they were to log on to the website of our ticketing partner, Computicket. SA Rugby will even be contacting supporters who have purchased tickets to SA Sevens events in the past to prompt them to apply.

“We have deliberately kept ticket prices for the HSBC 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. This year the most expensive tickets will be R325 per day, while cheaper tickets will cost R250 and R195 per day respectively, which excludes loyalty programme charges.

“By registering for the loyalty programme, fans will be able to order up to seven tickets each – for an additional R75 per ticket. Not only does that ensure your ticket chances but successful loyalty members will have first right of refusal to purchase tickets to future editions. It does mean that the price has gone up this year but we will still be the cheapest Sevens tournament on the World Series.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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