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).