June International Tours

SARugby to blame for Huge Lions ticket prices



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The British and Irish Lions team on Tuesday expressed their surprise at the number of people attending their tour games in South Africa, stressing they had no say in setting the inflated ticket prices.

The Lions, who tour South Africa every 12 years, played out their warm-up games to half-full stadiums, while there were even a few thousand empty seats during the first Test in Durban last Saturday.

Tickets for the first Test were on sale for 1,140 rand (99 euros), while South Africa’s games in the Tri Nations are usually priced at 125-450 rand (11-39 euros).

At Newlands on Tuesday, tickets to watch the Emerging Boks take on the cream of the four home nations were going for 230 rand (20 euros), a massive increase from normal Super 14 home match prices of between 20-50 rand (1.75-4.30 euros).

John Feehan, chief executive of the 2009 Lions tour, released a statement denying allegations that the Lions had any involvement in the setting of ticket prices.

“The South African Rugby Union and its provincial unions had sole responsibility for the setting of ticket prices for the British and Irish Lions tour and the Lions management had no input whatsoever into any of this,” said Feehan.

“The Lions did appoint official overseas travel agencies to service the requirements of travelling British and Irish Lions supporters.

“However, the tickets for this programme were purchased at full price from the South African Rugby Union by the British and Irish Lions.

“It is true to say we are very surprised at the level of the attending crowds. The Lions only visit South Africa every 12 years and it is, therefore, disappointing that the stadiums have been far from full.”

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