Ticket mayhem hits Durban

ABSA Stadium in Durban, the venue to host the first ever Super rugby Final in South Africa, was a scene of chaos and disappointment on Monday as hundreds of Sharks and Bulls fans were denied tickets to watch their teams in action this weekend.

Supporters turned out in their masses to try get a piece of the highly anticipated South Africa derby Final. Some had shown their true commitment by camping overnight, while others woke up at the crack of dawn to get a safe spot in line to assure them of a ticket.

The ticket offices at the Shark Tank opened at 9am on a typically hot humid day in Durban. But in just over an hour, the dreaded words ‘Sold Out’ was displayed in front of hundreds of flabbergasted fans.

18 000 tickets that were supposedly set aside for the paying rugby public had somehow disappeared faster than the Bulls’ Bryan Habana.

A player that confused and disgruntled fans will not have the privilege of watching before their eyes come Saturday kick-off.

Confused?

Speaking to several die-hard ticket-less supporters, I would soon learn that not even those sleeping on the street floor were able to get their tired hands on those cherished tickets.

They had counted roughly 200 people lining up before 4am Monday morning to stake their claim. Over half those people were still standing in the same place they had cemented themselves in for hours on end, only to hear the fateful news that their time was wasted.

So lets do the math.

A maximum of ten tickets were allowed to be purchased per individual from the 18 000 allocated. So that means a maximum of 1800 people would have walked through those glass doors to soak up as many tickets for their extended friends and family for it to sell out.

Sadly as a witness to this heartache, that was not the case.

As the local news crews started making their way into the fracas, reports were agonisingly told of how no less than a hundred people came out smiling with tickets before an unfortunate security officer was give the job of waving the ‘Sold Out’ sign.

So where did the tickets go?

That is what everyone that turned up was asking after the news had finally reached those at the very end of the anaconda-like cue.

Disbelief was the look on everyone’s faces as they wondered what else they need to do to watch their team play.

In the first time in the two teams playing history, Sharks and Bulls supporters united as one to protest what seems to be a huge error by the ABSA Stadium ticketing office.

And spare a thought for those Bulls supporters that made the trip from Pretoria to wave their blue flags in support of their team.

“I am speechless, we have come so close yet so far away from watching a dream Final,” said Derek Smit, a Bulls fan that arrived at 2am this morning from Pretoria to purchase tickets.

“That’s my car parked there (in a parking bay directly opposite the ticket booth), I’ve spent the night yet I still can’t get my hands on a single ticket!,” said Grant Hatchet, an angry Sharks supporter. “Something is seriously wrong here.”

The only piece of good news coming from the ticket officers was the news of scholar tickets still available. At least some young Sharks and Bulls supporters will lucky to get a ticket can watch their heroes in action over the weekend.

For the rest, it looks like it’s a date with the television set…if they can bring themselves to it.

By Dave Morris 365 Digital

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