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James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Watch out for suspect tickets, Chiefs fans told

Chiefs management say they will come down hard on scalpers. Photo / Thinkstock
Chiefs management say they will come down hard on scalpers. Photo / Thinkstock

Rugby fans wanting a seat at this weekend's Super 15 final in Hamilton are being warned to avoid dodgy tickets that may be circulating.

Chiefs management say they will come down hard on scalpers, some of whom have boasted they are going to make "heaps of money" by hawking tickets.

By last night, 10,000 tickets had been sold to season ticketholders and sponsors for Saturday's Super 15 final, in which the Chiefs host South Africa's Sharks at Waikato Stadium.

Tickets go on sale to the public at 8am today at the 25,800-capacity stadium, while people wanting to buy tickets online will have to wait an hour longer.

Chiefs commercial and marketing manager Sean Austin said ticket buyers could print paper versions of their tickets - each with unique barcodes.

Mr Austin warned fans who miss out on tickets to avoid buying the paper versions unless they "trusted the person implicitly".

"If someone is trying to sell you an A4 ticket which is a print-your-own option, be very careful because they can be duplicated.

"If someone has come through on a scanned barcode, anyone coming through subsequently will be turned away."

Mr Austin said season ticketholders had the option of buying an extra 10 tickets in addition to their membership seat which he conceded could create a black market with some looking to profit by scalping.

"It is a fact of life for any sporting or concert event where there's a scarcity issue.

"There's always that risk, but our terms of sale are pretty specific that basically they're not allowed to do it and there is obviously legal recourse if we catch someone."

Several Chiefs fans have noted this and one took to the club's Facebook page to say: "Yusss I am going to by 10 on 1 account and then 10 on another and make heaps of money from scalping them on Trade Me! :)"

Other fans have noted the higher ticket prices for the final, with premium covered seats selling for $120 each, although Chiefs supporters living in Australia said these costs were "cheap for a final".

Mr Austin said the higher prices reflected the costs the Chiefs, as hosts, would pick up.

The Chiefs would pay "a significant chunk" of the Sharks' travelling bill including business class flights for the team, management and support staff who arrive in New Zealand tomorrow, he said.

The Chiefs would also meet their accommodation costs and pay their opponents a $162,000 finals appearance fee.

"We actually make no more money out of this than a round-robin sellout."

Last night the TAB had the Chiefs as firm $1.33 favourites, while the Sharks were paying $3.10 for a win.

- NZ Herald

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