Today we have a guest article by Shizah Ahmed, who has a bone to pick with ticket exchange sites. I’m sure we’ve all come across these sites before. You want to go to the game, but have to pay double or sometimes triple the face value to secure your seat. The question is therefore this: are these sites pricing ordinary fans out of the game? Over to you Shizah …
Entrepreneurship was pushed to its limits by greedy ticket re-sellers during the Champions Trophy. An event that promised so much had people going berserk for a chance to see matches live in the stadiums. In an unexpected turn of events, Pakistan stunned both England and India to claim the coveted crown. But who, exactly, watched the final live in the stadium? And how much did they pay for the privilege?
It was a dream come true for fans when several tickets for the final were released immediately after the first semi. I envisaged a stadium packed full of cricket enthusiasts revelling in merriment. Unfortunately however, the tickets sold faster than hot cakes – leaving avid fans with slower internet connections waiting endlessly for a chance to nab a ticket. And that’s when mankind’s ravenous nature predictably unfolded …
After doing some research on the internet, I was shocked to see tickets with a face value of £40-70 being sold for as much as £500-3000 on websites like Viagogo, Ebay, Gumtree and Stubhub. If this is not sheer exploitation, I do not know what is! Some people’s insatiable appetite for money is absurd.
It is abundantly clear that fans are being taken advantage of, and their passion for the game is being used to coax huge sums of money from people who don’t always have deep pockets.
This vulturous behaviour needs to be curbed by boycotting outrageously priced tickets. The websites involved should ban greedy users and remind them that the only legal way to purchase tickets is through the official ICC website.
Re-selling tickets has obviously become an incredibly profitable business. Many people buy these tickets for the sole purpose of reselling them at ridiculously high prices. Although there are people willing to pay these inflated tickets – perhaps because money is no object to them – surely this highlights the appalling economic disparity across the world. Cricket should therefore stamp down on the practice in the interests of both fair play and growing the game.
Governments and the ICC need to collaborate and ask why it is so easy to buy tickets and then resell them at ten times the cost. The tickets state that resale is not allowed, apart from on the official website, so why are second hand tickets available so freely? It’s surely time for the ICC to crack down on ticket exchange websites and ask them to implement stricter policies.
Respect for the sport, the fans, and sponsors, is an essential part of tournaments like the Champions Trophy. If this unfair profit-making that freezes out hardcore supporters on lower incomes is allowed to continue, cricket will surely be the loser. The game will lose credibility and its roots in the general populace will be damaged.