The excitement and anticipation of the match at International Stadium in Yokohama has prompted a sharp rise in ticket prices.
Kiwi fans toying with the idea of making a quick trip over to watch the game could be set back thousands of dollars for just one ticket and a couple more thousand for transport.
On Monday, unofficial resale site StubHub was listing two Category A tickets for around $4389.12 each. The cheapest seats for sale, located in Category D, were listed for $783 each. Controversial Swiss-based reseller Viagogo was also listing tickets for sale – prices ranged from $780 to $3500, depending on the ticket type.
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However, organisers warned against fans purchasing unofficial event tickets. Rugby World Cup wrote on its website there had been several reported cases of customers being denied access to the stadium because they had bought scam tickets.
“With such incredible demand for tickets, people may be tempted to buy through unofficial sources. I can’t stress this strongly enough that it’s just not worth the risk,” Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 organising committee chief executive Akira Shimazu said in a statement.
But with no available tickets listed on the official Rugby World Cup resale website, desperate fans might be tempted.
On Saturday and Sunday evening, after the quarterfinal games, Google search queries for “Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets” spiked, according to Google Trends data. The most searches came from New Zealand, followed by South Africa and Ireland.
Facebook groups dedicated to ticket swaps had been set up earlier in the tournament, and since the semifinal teams were announced, inquiries had increased.
Rugby fans were hastily trying to swap tickets to one semifinal match for the other, exchange a Category A ticket to the South Africa v Wales semifinal for a finals ticket, or search for up to five tickets for the All Blacks semifinal.
Tickets weren’t the only expense to increase.
The cheapest return flights to Japan – departing Auckland on Friday, October 25 and returning Sunday, October 27 – were listed for $1135 with Philippine Airlines. Air New Zealand had the most expensive fare, with a two-stop 32-hour trip costing $7266 return per person, according to a WebJet search query.
The All Blacks are set to face England on Saturday in the first semifinal match of the tournament, followed by Wales and South Africa on Sunday.
For those opting to watch the last of the tournament games from New Zealand, streaming through Spark Sport, watching live on TVNZ’s free-to-air channel, or watching from a licensed venue were all viable options.
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