General admission tickets for Joseph Parker's fight against Carlos Takam will be priced from $1 on auction site Trade Me, and, while he admits it is a risk, promoter Dean Lonergan says he is confident of success and insists it could pave the way for other sports in New Zealand to follow suit.
"I found it astonishing last year how the Hurricanes franchise complained bitterly about the scalping of tickets to the Super Rugby final after triumphantly proclaiming they had sold out in minutes," said Lonergan today.
"Our method should ensure the genuine Joseph Parker supporters will not be ripped off."
There are only 520 general tickets available for the May 21 fight, an IBF world title eliminator at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre, so demand will far outstrip supply. The Herald reported this morning that 125 corporate tables - top price $12,000 - had already been sold.
The first set of tickets went on sale this morning with a reserve price of $1. Duco Events, Parker's promoters, said they had a recommended retail price of $299 each. At 1pm today, the top bid for a six-ticket package was at $1201.
Sets of tickets will be released daily ahead of the fight.
The ticket sale idea, thought up by Lonergan and endorsed by Duco Events chief executive Martin Snedden, the former chief executive of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, who oversaw more than $271 million of ticket sales.
"There have been record breaking corporate sales to this event," Snedden said.
"The demand has been so great that we have actually had to abandon our traditional method of having tables at ringside so we can fit more people into the 3000 capacity Vodafone Events Centre.
"As a bonus though, it means anyone buying a ticket through Trade Me will probably be sitting very close to the high-fliers and celebrities who have already secured corporate tickets."