Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Final fever brings scalpers

A scalper has come under fire from Chiefs fans for inflating ticket prices to this weekend's Super 15 final.

The seller listed 12 green-zone tickets - standing only on an embankment - on Trade Me for $150 each after tickets to the Chiefs versus Brumbies final in Hamilton sold out yesterday. The face value was $30 each.

When one buyer queried how much for four tickets the seller answered $900. It set off a tirade of comments from angry fans who missed out on tickets, the most expensive of which cost $137.50 at face value.

"Crusaders didn't win so your [sic] ripping off the Waikato community. I hope you don't sell any tickets!," one person wrote.

By late afternoon the auction and thread had been removed.

Fans queued overnight in the cold outside Waikato Stadium for a chance to see the Chiefs in their second consecutive home grand final. Those who tried to get seats through Ticket Direct faced a 45-minute delay caused by problems with BNZ's payment system.

However, Chiefs marketing manager Vanessa Parker said once the glitch was fixed most of those who waited were rewarded with tickets.

Mrs Parker said there had been some complaints over the delay, including from Brumbies fans in Australia and the Chiefs would seek an explanation for the hold-up.

She said the Chiefs had considered adding several thousand extra seats to the stadium but the logistics were too difficult.

Up to 50 Brumbies fans this week bought 2014 season tickets to qualify for priority purchasing before the final tickets went on general sale yesterday. However, they qualified for only one final ticket per season ticket, unlike last year when season ticketholders were able to buy up to 10 seats each.

Chiefs chief executive Gary Dawson said just 13,000 tickets were available yesterday morning after season ticketholders bought 12,000. He said the interest in the grand final was probably greater than that of All Black test matches held in the city.

- NZ Herald

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