Tickets from as little as R100 for next year’s British & Irish Lions tour will be available from 2 September following SA Rugby’s announcement of the prices and ballot process on Tuesday.
The organisers have struck a balance between pricing for the biggest sporting event to hit South Africa since the 2010 FIFA World Cup while making the matches around the country remain highly affordable.
The eight-match tour, which stretches across six cities over five weeks and kicks off in Cape Town on 3 July 2021, has tickets available for public sale with the prices designed to make them attractive to South African residents.
“The top-priced tickets are comparable with what was charged 12 years ago when the Lions were last here,” said Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO.
“But what is very different is that we have introduced four tiers of pricing for all matches – unlike the once-price-fits-all approach last time around.
“We have provided a range of price points for the public and, for instance, a family of four will be able to watch a match against one of the franchise teams for R1 000 in total, and for as little as R400 for a match in PE or Nelspruit.
“This is a once-in-a-decade commercial opportunity and we won’t shy away from acknowledging that we have to maximise the commercial opportunity that the extraordinary demand offers. At the same time, we have been sensitive to the South African fans and have some very affordable prices to watch the best of our local teams take on the Lions.”
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Ticket prices for matches against the DHL Stormers at Cape Town Stadium, the Cell C Sharks at Jonsson Kings Park and the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld range in price from R250 to R600.
Tickets for mid-week matches against a SA Invitational team in Port Elizabeth and against SA ‘A’ at Mbombela Stadium are even cheaper ranging from only R100 to R350.
The cheapest Test match ticket is R500 – less than the price of a ticket to a 2019 Springbok Test – and increases to R1 250 and R2 000 to the top-priced ticket of R3 000.
South Africa, as a territory, has the majority ticket allocation and South African residents will have access to an affordable ticket pricing tier structure.
“The British & Irish Lions are unique in that they visit South Africa only once every 12 years, and we look forward to welcoming their thousands of fans to some warm South African hospitality,” said Roux.
“This is the home of the Rugby World Cup champions, the Springboks, and the Lions will know they are in our den. More tickets will be available to home fans than to overseas fans – we want to meet them with an Army of Green to combat the Sea of Red.”
Roux said that it was critical for South Africans to note that there was only one route to secure tickets – by entering the ballot on www.lionstour2021.co.za.
He reiterated that tickets are not available at match venues, through provincial unions or at the usual retails outlets and if anyone answered an online advertisement for Lions tickets, they were in danger of being defrauded, exploited and ticketless.
South African residents who registered on the British & Irish Lions UK website would also miss their opportunity. South Africans are encouraged to the ticketing website, www.lionstour2021.co.za to ensure they are part of the support.
Roux said: “We have had large-scale interest through www.lionstour2021.co.za and they will all receive an email with a link to the ticket site once the ballot opens.
“Any other South African-based fan can register on the site now or when the ballot opens. The ballot closes at midnight on 16 September 2020, after which we expect all the publicly available tickets to be allocated. It is critical that if you want tickets for the tour you register on the site before 17 September 2020.”
Once registered, the process is as follows:
• On Wednesday, 2 September at 10h00 registrants will be able to login to www.lionstour2021.co.za;
• South African residents will be able to select tickets for all eight matches (to a maximum of eight tickets per match);
• Ballot closes on Wednesday, 16 September at 23h59;
• The draw will take place by a computerised selection process;
• All registered users will be advised by email whether they have been successful on 25 September 2020;
• Payment will automatically take place on the credit card used for submitting your ballot application on 28 September and;
• Seat allocation and tickets dispatch (courier or electronic) will take place in the second quarter of 2021.
Roux said the ballot process was consistent with all global major sporting events and was the system used at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2019 Cricket World Cup and at many other major international sporting events.
“We know demand will massively outstrip supply – particularly for the Test matches,” he said.
“We chose the ballot system to allow everyone to get to the start line. It is a randomised, computerised selection system to ensure fairness, but people may be disappointed if they don’t register for the ballot.”
Hospitality packages are available for all matches – ranging in price from R2 495 (excl. VAT) for a midweek game to R8 995 (excl. VAT) for a Test match. Those interested should email: email@example.com.
Similarly, tickets can be accessed as part of a tour travel package by contacting SA Rugby Travel on firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 525 2515.