Angry Lions season-ticket holders have lashed out at the South African Rugby Union for not giving them first bite at buying tickets for the Springboks-All Blacks Test at FNB Stadium on October 6.
Saru this week announced tickets for the Rugby Championship match would go on sale on Wednesday, but said nothing about Lions season-ticket holders getting a chance to buy their tickets first.
It is customary for the host union of a Test to give their season ticket holders and suite owners preferential treatment.
Acting Lions CEO Ruben Moggee said yesterday the union had received many calls from disgruntled fans.
“There’s a lot of anger and disappointment,” said Moggee.
“We’re fully aware the Test at the FNB is being managed by Saru, but at the start of the year we asked Saru if it would be possible for them to accommodate our season ticket holders and our suite owners, because the stadium is in our region.
“We’ve heard nothing from them and the fans are upset.”
When the Lions host a Test at Coca-Cola Park, as they did earlier this year when the Boks played England, they pay a guarantee to Saru to host the game and they also control all logistical and management matters, including the costs and the income. In such a case, it is basically the Lions who do all the work to host the Test and they look after their season ticket holders and suite owners by giving them first bite at the tickets.
Saturday Star has learnt, however, that the FNB Stadium Test is being run and managed solely by Saru. They will incur all the costs, and the profits of the day will be distributed among its 14 provincial unions.
It is because of this – Saru hosting the game and the Lions (and their season ticket holders) having already had a game (England) – that Saru are not giving any Lions fans preferential treatment.
Almost 7 000 tickets at R250 each will go on sale in Soweto, while the majority (61 000) will be on sale at R450 each. A further 11 000 premium priced tickets will also go on sale at R600.
In a unique initiative, supporters can save 10 percent on all categories of tickets if they bank with Springbok team sponsor, Absa. All Absa debit, credit and cheque card holders will qualify for the discount when purchasing tickets.
In addition, Absa Springbok credit card holders will also be able to take advantage of a “24-hour early bird” window to book their tickets from Tuesday (starting at 9am).
There will, as usual, also be tickets available as part of hospitality packages.
Tickets will be on sale at Computicket outlets at Shoprite, Checkers and House&Home stores. Sales start at 9am on Wednesday at Computicket, by telephone (0861-915-8000) and online at www.computicket.com.