AFL fans are being gouged up to $450 to watch a top-four AFL clash this weekend, sparking allegations of ticket resellers running “legalised scalping”.
According to the Ticketmaster resales site, tickets for the key Geelong-Richmond match on Saturday are being offered for as much as $447, while face-value tickets are on offer for as little as $52.
Simonds Stadium in Geelong has a capacity of 34,000, about one-third the size of Melbourne’s MCG, and too small to accommodate the total demand from Richmond’s 70,000-plus fans.
That has left many scrambling to buy tickets at inflated prices from other sources such as Ticketmaster Resale.
Single tickets in reserved seats were still available on the general Ticketmaster website for around $52 on Friday, while tickets on the Ticketmaster Resale website ranged from about $100 up to $447 for top seats.
General admission tickets in Victoria normally sell for $25.
Sellers set the ticket price on the resale site, and Ticketmaster pockets a selling fee.
Gerry Eeman, president of the AFL Fans Association, said the Ticketmaster Resale website allowed for “blatant profiteering”.
“What these resale sites do is essentially provide a platform for scalpers to hoard tickets for the sole purpose of reselling them at rip-off prices,” Mr Eeman told The New Daily.
“What we don’t get here at the Fans Association, is why that’s acceptable and why someone doesn’t step up and do something about it.
“It’s not a new issue, everyone knows it’s going on and it’s getting worse.”
Mr Eeman said tickets should not be resold at anything beyond face value, and that websites would serve a good function if that was mandated.
“What it’s currently doing is encouraging blatant profiteering, and it’s a legalised blackmarket.”
Radio sports journalist Shane McInnes blamed Ticketmaster for facilitating the “legal scalping” and for taking a cut.
I paid 135 for mine last week originally 45 , its a joke , will be all the more sweeter when it's a tiger win !
— Travy Barratt (@travybarratt) August 9, 2017
President of the Richmond Cheer Squad, Gerard Egan, said he had heard a lot of people complain about the resale website this week because of the popularity of the match.
A spokesperson for Ticketmaster told The New Daily the platform was a safe purchase option that guaranteed authenticity.
“Ticketing marketplaces are dynamic and prices change in line with demand. Ticket holders, not Ticketmaster Resale, control the inventory and the price of the tickets they list.
“With high profile events such as Geelong v Richmond, tickets are sometimes listed at prices higher than the face value, but they will often be listed at or below face value as well.”
Geelong v Richmond
The Tigers haven’t beaten the Cats in their last 12 outings, and haven’t won in Geelong since 2006.
But Richmond coach Damien Hardwick is bullish about their chances of getting up in the top-four clash on Saturday afternoon.
The Cats will be missing stars Joel Selwood to injury, and suspended duo Tom Hawkins and Mitch Duncan. Patrick Dangerfield will be returning from a one-match ban.
“We slowly feel we’re getting better at taking them on and we’re looking forward to the challenge of getting down there,” Hardwick said.
“It’s very much like an interstate trip, the hostile environment is there and our boys have got a great interstate record.
“It’s only an hour down the highway but it feels like that sort of game.”
The Tigers have won three interstate games this season and lost two, with the round-nine loss to the Giants coming via a goal in the last minute.
Richmond’s defence is the competition’s strongest and Hardwick felt this would stand up well at Simonds Stadium.
“If anything it’s a smaller, skinnier sized ground and Geelong’s pressure there is very good but ours is very good on a regular basis and we think it will go up again so we’re excited to see how that works for us,” he said.
“We think it will suit our style of game with our pressure and contested-ball situation.”
The New Daily has contacted Ticketmaster for comment.
Richmond supporters and their sense of entitlement is completely laughable and getting a tad boring now ..
— MickyT (@mickt74t) August 10, 2017
– with AAP