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Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty, Design: Tina Tiller
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty, Design: Tina Tiller

SportsNovember 8, 2022

All your questions about Rugby World Cup final tickets, answered

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty, Design: Tina Tiller
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty, Design: Tina Tiller

Is Eden Park sold out? Can’t they add more seats? Why aren’t tickets for sale on Trade Me? And, most importantly, will we win?

Yay! The Black Ferns made the final of the Rugby World Cup. I have to go and see them play England. I must. So how do I get my sticky little hands on tickets for this Saturday’s final at Eden Park?

You can’t.

What?!

Yeah sorry. While Eden Park has stopped short of calling this weekend’s final a sell out, almost all of the venue’s 40,000 tickets are gone. “While current seating is almost entirely allocated, a review of remaining space is underway as we look to release every last seat for fans,” said an Eden Park spokesperson. “We’re encouraging fans to keep a look out throughout the week for the chance to snap up the final few.”

Oh, OK. Eden Park can just add more seats right, like they do for popular All Blacks games and other major events?

Yes, it can. But it won’t be doing that.

What? Why not?

“We have explored the possibility of adding temporary seating for the final following the extraordinary turn-out of fans throughout the tournament,” said Eden Park’s spokesperson. “Due to the time constraints and logistical challenges involved in installing temporary seating, we made the decision to focus on filling every possible available seat in the existing stands and leave no stone unturned to ensure the stadium is at capacity for Saturday.”

The Black Ferns celebrate a try against France (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/World Rugby via Getty Images)

How many extra tickets will go on sale?

According to this 1News story, a few hundred extra seats could be released soon. But they’ll be snapped up fast. You can find them, if and when that happens, here.

Well there are other options. Aren’t live event tickets going cheap on Trade Me right now?

They are for other things, like recent concerts by Kings of Leon and Aldous Harding. But this is special, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Black Ferns lift the Rugby World Cup at home at a time when the success of women’s sport is being supported and celebrated like never before. It feels like that time everyone wore red socks for the America’s Cup, or when David Tua took on Lennox Lewis. Everyone wants to be part of it. But while Trade Me was allowing tickets to be sold yesterday, some for as much as four times the original price, today those listings have been removed.

Why?

The event is covered by the Major Events Management Act 2007, meaning the on-selling of tickets for profit is banned. “The reselling or trading of a ticket for a value greater than its original sale price, either in person or online, is an offence under the Act, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000,” a spokesperson for RWC 2021 told NZH. “Fans obtaining tickets from unofficial sources run the risk of having those tickets cancelled, being refused entry or being evicted from a venue.”

Weren’t tickets less than $50 originally?

If you bought them before Saturday night’s win against France, yes.

And didn’t it used to be free to watch the Black Ferns?

Yes. Until this World Cup (literally one month ago), you never had to pay to see a Black Ferns match on its own (double-headers with All Blacks are a different thing). Isn’t it amazing what a little bit of marketing can do for commercial viability?

Ugh. If people had enough foresight to buy tickets in advance, why would they want to sell them anyway?

Yesterday, one seller said they now had to work the night of the game. People were not happy at how much profit they were making, so it makes sense Trade Me has removed them all today.

How about Viagogo?

No. Please. Just don’t. If you must spend your money, someone’s charging $250 for this ridiculous RWC banner. At least you’d actually get something that way.

Sniff. But I want to see Ruby Tui score the match-winning try against England live. What are my other options?

Many bars will air the game live. If you’re in Auckland, choose one in Kingsland or Mt Eden, the suburbs closest to Eden Park, and you can soak up the pre- or post-game atmosphere. For everyone else, the game’s available to watch free-to-air on Three or on Spark Sport. Organisers expect more than a million people to tune in. “We’re calling on Kiwis to not only make history in the stands with another record crowd, but to achieve record viewership for women’s sport in New Zealand,” said Eden Park’s spokesperson.

Is there anything else I can do to nab tickets?

Short of breaking into Eden Park with a sleeping bag and spending the night on the roof – which we are absolutely not suggesting you do – not really, no. Just keep looking out for news alerts and refreshing the ticketing home page.

No sleep, then,  till Saturday. So who’s going to win?

Who knows? (The Black Ferns.) England have won their last 30 games. (Definitely the Black Ferns.) Even Black Ferns coach Wayne Smith sounded a little scared of them when he said, “… they’re pretty frightening like, they’re so efficient in what they do”. (The Black Ferns, 100%.) So it really is going to be very tight and one hell of a game. (The Black Ferns, obviously.)

Keep going!