World Cup ticket frenzy: Wallabies' games near sold out, Kiwis & Irish gone

Rugby World Cup
by Iain Payten

Two of the Wallabies’ pool games in the Rugby World Cup are sold out and the other two are close to selling out after a frenzied rush for tickets to watch the tournament in Japan later this year.

After several waves of Rugby World Cup ticket releases last year and earlier this month, the first general, non-balloted public ticket sale began on Friday and most were snapped up within 24 hours.

According to the Rugby World Cup official ticketing site, all tickets for the pool games involving host nation Japan, New Zealand and Ireland are sold out. And, like Australia, only a very limited amount of premium tickets are available for lesser games involving England and South Africa.

The Wallabies’ big clashes against Fiji at the 41,000-seat Sapporo Dome on September 21, and against Wales at the 50,000-seat Tokyo Dome on September 29, are both sold out.

There are only premium tickets left for Australia’s clash with Georgia (at 50,000-seat Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa) and Uruguay (40,000-seat Oita Stadium), and as the most expensive available, range from between $130 to $826 per seat.

All tickets to the knockout games – quarters, semi-finals and the final – were already sold out prior to the ticket release, and the two games at Kamaishi, the city devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Iwate Prefecture, are also sold out.

There are still chances for fans to buy tickets to World Cup games, with hospitality packages showing as still available for some of the bigger games.

Wallabies fans can also still pursue the option of buying World Cup tickets through travel package tour companies.

After the current ticket release window ends on January 31, there will also be a third sale window in May when seats are returned for public sale from tour companies, tournament organisers and sponsors.

There was perhaps little surprise the batch of first-come, first-served general tickets released on Friday were taken so rapidly given there were only around 150,000 tickets on sale.

Such has been the incredible demand for tickets, Japanese media reported that around 1.1 million of the 1.8 million tickets for the tournament were already purchased in previous phases.

There were four priority sales phases last year, catering for host city residents and rugby family member in Japan, prior to a large number of seats sold to those who’d entered the Rugby World Cup ballot.

The ballot saw phenomenal interest, with over 4 million people applying for tickets. It was the biggest response in Rugby World Cup history.

Those who missed out on their desired tickets in the ballot were given a second chance to buy tickets last week, ahead of the general release.