14 Feb 2011

Auction site investigates illegal sale of RWC tickets

8:23 pm on 14 February 2011

On-line auction site Trade Me says it is investigating the illegal sale of Rugby World Cup semifinal tickets.

The tickets are part of a worldwide allotment by ballot by the Rugby World Cup 2011 organisation which says scalping is illegal.

Some 60,000 rugby fans in New Zealand and overseas found out on Monday whether they have been successful in a ballot for tickets to the final three games in the tournament.

Two semifinal tickets have been advertised and sold on the auction site for a buy-now price of $NZ1250, which is $NZ150 more than their face value.

Rugby World Cup 2011 marketing and communications manager Shane Harmon says tickets may not be sold for a profit.

"There are a number of websites in different countries around the world that have been trying to sell Rugby World Cup tickets. We continue to work with authorities to try and close them down, but it is difficult."

People can pass on unwanted tickets to family or friends, but only at their face value, he says.

Prices for the semifinals started at $NZ400, with a top price for the final of about $NZ1200.

Results of the ballot were posted online on Monday. Those who have tickets will be notified by post and they will be mailed out in May.

The semifinals will be played at Eden Park in Auckland on 15 and 16 October, with the final also being played there on 23 October.