Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 25

Events and Attractions

Rugby supporters "swamped ticketing websites" Monday morning and sold out this summer’s Lions Test series against Australia in just 15 minutes, according to Charlie Skillen of the London DAILY MAIL. Seats priced between £63 ($98) and £296 ($459) for the two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney sold out by 9:15am London time. The game in Brisbane -- the first Test of the series -- on sale an hour later, "sold out in only five minutes." Fans "were outraged" to see tickets already on eBay Monday morning -- with a pair of platinum tickets for the Sydney Test "posted for the inflated price" of £866 ($1,344) (DAILY MAIL, 2/18). In Sydney, Wayne Smith reported Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver declared the nine-match tour of Australia will be the "most successful ever down under in terms of attendance." Pulver said, "Right now, I can almost tell you definitely this will be the most successful Lions tour ever. This might be a bold move, but it's possible we could sell 400,000 tickets this time around." He added, "Our allocations for the three Test matches and the Waratahs game (June 15, Sydney Football Stadium) are completely gone and there is already terrific activity among all the other games. Right now this is shaping up to be a phenomenally successful tour in terms of attendance" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/19).

ARU ATTACKS SECONDARY MARKET: Also in Sydney, Guinness & Levy reported the ARU also sent out a reminder to fans to "not buy tickets from unauthorised ticketing sites, including eBay, Facebook and other online platforms." Tickets sold outside ARU Ticketing Terms and Conditions "may be cancelled with no refund." The ARU "will announce over the next months should tickets become available." Despite the ARU warning, ticket buyers "were offering them for sale again online for nearly four times the original cost" on Monday. Tickets were on eBay on Monday morning, with one bronze pair to the first Test in Brisbane posted for A$699 ($723) after originally selling for A$180 (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2/19).

In its 13th edition, the Brasil Open in São Paulo "broke attendance records" with 57,465 tickets sold, according to Fernando Itokazu of FOLHA DE S. PAULO. The number is a 26% increase over the '12 event. However, the tournament did draw its share of criticism. The players "did not like the courts" and the balls used for the tournament. The fans "also suffered," especially in the matches Rafael Nadal played. The Ibirapuera gymnasium "gave a clear impression of being overcrowded" during Nadal's matches. Fans were seen sitting in the staircases as all the seats looked to be taken. Brasil Open Dir Roberto Burigo said that this week "evaluations on the tournament will be done." He added, "Everything that generated some type of criticism can be altered for next year" (FOLHA DE S. PAULO, 2/18).

THE NADAL EFFECT: UOL's Erich Beting opined the record numbers can be explained by tournament organizer Koch Tavares' ability to contract Nadal to take part in the event. Nadal's title "was only the cherry on top of the cake." By bringing the Spaniard, the company was able to "achieve something that had never been done in previous editions of the Brasil Open." It was able to have a capacity crowd "for almost every day the tournament took place." Even better for Tavares and tournament sponsors, "the final was shown live on free-to-air TV" (UOL, 2/18).

The V8 revolution "burst into life" Saturday with an estimated 15,000 people packing into Sydney Motorsport Park to watch Nissan and Mercedes officially end Holden and Ford's 19-year V8 Supercar duopoly. Packed stands and "lengthy paddock queues ushered in the 'Car of the Future' era" with 25 of the 28 all new V8 Supercars taking to the track formerly known as Eastern Creek for the official Test day (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, 2/17). ... Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, which brought the Volvo Ocean Race to the Arabian Gulf for the first time in '12 said that the stopover will return to the Abu Dhabi in '14 (ISPORTSCONNECT, 2/18).