Ticket scalpers cash-in as SuperRugby final sells out

The all New Zealand Super Rugby final between the Hurricanes and Highlanders
has been declared a sell-out after fans queued through the night amid anger
over scalpers charging inflated prices.

Capacity at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium has been increased to 36,000 for Saturday’s
decider, the Hurricanes first home final.

Neither team has won a Super Rugby title before and demand for tickets has
been intense, with an initial release of 29,000 selling out in just 59 seconds
on Monday.

The remainder were snapped up on Wednesday morning after fans queued for 15
hours through a cold night in the capital to ensure they made it to the game.

“Due to significant demand this morning, all tickets are now currently
sold or allocated,” Ticketek New Zealand tweeted shortly after the ticket
booths opened.

But there was anger that some tickets bought online earlier in the week were
being sold at well above their face value.

Auction site TradeMe had NZ$35 (US$24) tickets selling at more NZ$150 (US$100)
apiece on Wednesday afternoon, with one vendor saying he had been inundated
with disparaging remarks from “keyboard warriors”.

Hurricanes chief executive James Te Puni has described the scalpers’ prices
as “crazy” and warned that tickets not bought through official channels
could be cancelled.

But Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith ruled out government intervention,
saying supply and demand was setting the ticket prices.

“We’ve got simple rules in place around fair trading… but it’s a free
market,” he told reporters.

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