The Welsh Rugby Union is urging supporters still looking for tickets to this year’s sold-out RBS 6 Nations matches at Principality Stadium, against England and Ireland, to always ‘buy official’.
‘Sold-out’ means that the WRU has no more match tickets available to sell and Wales’ home ground is at its 74,500 capacity, but there are still a number of official routes (with limited availability) into Principality Stadium via WRU clubs, WRU hospitality and the WRU’s partners Events International, Gullivers Sports Travel and Seatwave.
However, with high demand matches comes an increased chance for supporters to be sold fraudulent or void tickets if they buy from unofficial sources – running the risk of not being able to actually enter the Stadium and watch the match.
The WRU is unable to verify the authenticity of tickets provided by unlicensed, non-official companies, these outlets are not regulated by the WRU and the tickets they offer do not carry a guarantee of entry.
It is against WRU terms and conditions to re-sell tickets in this way – and the WRU cannot guarantee the validity of tickets if they are found being distributed via unofficial routes.
In the recent Under Armour Series internationals held at the Stadium in November a number of supporters were refused entry at the bar code scanners, which operate at each turnstile, after presenting invalid tickets.
“The potential for supporters to invest large sums of money in a dream day out at Principality Stadium and to be left disappointed is only increased by the size of the occasion and both the England and Ireland matches this year have been in particularly high demand,”
A WRU spokesperson.
“We are imploring supporters to make sure they ‘buy official’ as this is the only way the WRU can guarantee the validity of the ticket, that they have the very best spectator experience possible and, fundamentally, that they will be allowed into the stadium.
“We do everything we can on a match-day to help supporters who have been sold invalid tickets, but when a game is sold-out it is far more difficult for us to help.”
The WRU makes sure all proceeds it receives from international match tickets are re-invested in the game.
It is a not-for-profit organisation and seeking to regulate the secondary ticket and off-site hospitality market by appointing official partners is the only way it can ensure valid tickets are provided and investment stays in Welsh Rugby.
The Trading Standards team within Shared Regulatory Services, which covers Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend, is all too familiar with scams of the nature described.
Dave Holland, Head of Shared Regulatory Services, offers the following advice:
“We often receive complaints about match tickets failing to arrive or not working on the day of the event.
“Online ticket fraud is now big business, with rogue traders operating here in the UK and abroad.
“Consumers need to be aware that if they spend tens, hundreds or even thousands of pounds on tickets from an unsubstantiated source, then they risk missing a match, but more importantly, never seeing their money again.
“Whilst we can and will investigate fraudulent business practices, we have no jurisdiction over websites which are based outside the UK.
“If consumers decide to buy from an online source, we strongly urge you to use a credit card as a form of payment, as this provides additional protection to you if you spend £100 or more. From our perspective, this applies to all sporting events, as well as music festivals, concerts and the like.
“It is easy for scammers to set up a fake website that looks genuine. Some will use a name or website address that is very similar to a legitimate website.
“If you’re unsure or it sounds too good to be true, leave the website and don’t provide your payment details, as you may also be at risk of identity fraud.”
The only remaining routes to Principality Stadium for supporters wishing to follow head coach Rob Howley’s Wales for their 2017 Championship campaign are via official hospitality (direct from the WRU or via Events International), official travel packages (Gullivers Sports travel), WRU member clubs or the WRU’s regulated official resale marketplace website (Seatwave).
The WRU’s over-riding message to all supporters is ‘buy official’, whether that be from clubs, from the WRU or from an official partner, in order to avoid disappointment.
Our home matches for 2017
We play England on the 11th February (KO 16:50) and Ireland on Friday 10th March (KO 20:00)