New Zealand officials responsible for the 2011 Rugby World Cup are facing a quagmire as hundreds of tickets to upcoming matches are appearing on secondary ticketing Web sites.
Under New Zealand law, it is illegal to resell above face value tickets to the Rugby World Cup, as well as the selling of tickets to other “major upcoming events,” such as the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
According to Rugby New Zealand 2011 — the group charged with overseeing the World Cup — tickets to the Rugby World Cup also cannot be transferred via third-party Web sites, but are allowed to be transferred to friends and family.
As of today, September 26, tickets are advertised on eBay.com for as much as $2,950 for a pair of tickets to the Cup final. Meanwhile, TicketsNow.com has tickets to the Cup final for well over $2,000, which is over twice the face value for the ticket.
Within New Zealand, tickets for the final are selling on secondary ticketing sites for as much as $3,500, more than three times face value.
So far, there are no reports of action being taken against resellers. However, Ross Young, chief executive of Rugby New Zealand 2011, has publicly stated that the organization is aware of the tickets on the secondary market and is “actively contacting those who are auctioning tickets and seeking withdrawal of these offers.”
The punishment for reselling World Cup tickets at above face value is a fine of up to $5,000.
Unless a site is based in New Zealand, the New Zealand ban on resale prices does not apply. Thus, those tickets for sale on U.S.-run sites would not fall under New Zealand jurisdiction.
But because the ban on transferring Rugby World Cup tickets outside of family or close friends is attached specifically to the ticket, Young has publicly stated that Rugby New Zealand 2011 is reaching out to the various ticket resale sites worldwide to ask that all Rugby World Cup tickets be removed from sale.
As tickets appear to be on sale across various secondary ticketing sites throughout 13 countries, such a task will be difficult to accomplish prior to the tournament’s October 23 end-date.