Two major online secondary ticket operators "have been caught by Wimbledon breaching regulations by trading non-debenture seats," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Viagogo and Seatwave "have been contacted by lawyers" acting for the All England Club, and forced "to take the offending tickets off their websites." A club spokesperson said, "They were discovered selling tickets apart from debentures and we have taken immediate action.'' This "will be a particular embarrassment for Viagogo," which has official ticket partnerships in place with Roland Garros for the French Open and the ATP Tour Finals at London’s O2. Secondary ticketing "has been described as a ‘massive concern’ for the All England Club" after overseas tennis fans were "duped into buying" more than £20,000 ($30,000) worth of fake tickets before this year’s Championships "from fraudulent sites posing as official suppliers" (DAILY MAIL, 7/1).
Events and Attractions
Despite economic and political unrest in Hungary, organizers of the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix "have reached a contract extension with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone," according to Christian Nimmervoll of MOTORSPORT TOTAL. The new agreement, which secures an annual F1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring near Budapest until '21, "has reportedly been signed by Ecclestone and organizer Peter Gerstl on June 28." The current contract of the Hungarian race "was set to expire in '16." The contract extension "is tied to some circuit updates, such as a new asphalt for the track after this year's race, new fences along the start-finish straight and a new air conditioning system as well as modern windows for the track's medical center." In addition, the race's contract with current title sponsor Italian gas and oil company Eni is about to expire (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 7/2).
For a second successive year, the UAE's tourism authority "hosted a fan zone" inside Whittlebury Park Hotel during the British Grand Prix and "erected a tent in the adjacent campsite in a bid to encourage local motorsport spectators to consider seeing their next race in the UAE capital," according to Gary Meenaghan of THE NATIONAL. At last year's washed-out race in England, T-shirts carrying the slogan "It Never Rains In Abu Dhabi" proved popular. This year, the slogan emblazoned across the waterproof ponchos being distributed at the UAE capital's Silverstone sanctuary on Saturday read: "Abu Dhabi: Soaked in Sunshine." Visitors to the pavilion "were also gifted Etihad Airways blankets, Arabic coffee, henna tattoos and -- crucially -- complimentary Wi-Fi." Yas Marina Circuit Sales and Marketing Dir Nick McElwee said, "We get all the data when people register for the Wi-Fi and that allows us to keep in touch. We are at about 17,000 this year" (THE NATIONAL, 7/2).
Wladimir Klitschko will fight Alexander Povetkin in a heavyweight fight in Moscow on Oct. 5 "after contracts were signed." Klitschko holds the WBA super championship belt in addition to the IBF, WBO and The Ring belts, while unbeaten Russian Povetkin is the WBA's regular champion (EUROSPORT, 7/2). ... The Int'l Rugby Board said that "poor attendances at the Rugby World Cup Sevens have not marred the greater impact that both Russia and world rugby will feel from hosting the event in the build-up to the sport's inclusion in the 2016 Rio Olympics." The three-day tournament "was staged at the Luzhniki Stadium," the venue for the 1980 Moscow Games that has a capacity of 79,000, reduced to 50,000 by advertising hoardings. But the action of the abbreviated game on the pitch "has often been watched by sparsely filled stands" (AFP, 7/2).