Hk sevens fans' fury at scrum on the net
Rugby union fans cried foul again yesterday after their attempts to buy the remaining tickets for this year's Sevens were blocked when the website kept crashing.
This year only 4,000 tickets were available for the general public, down from 5,000 last year. They went on sale at www.cityline.com yesterday morning at 10am.
The tickets were limited to two per person and applicants had to verify their residency with a valid Hong Kong or Macau postal address.
But right from the kick-off, fans were unable to log on because of the repeated crashes. It followed similar problems with the ticketing website in previous years.
Several disgruntled fans contacted the Sunday Morning Post, complaining that they had spent hours trying to get on the website.
'What a complete waste of time. It's the same every year,' teacher John Cronin said.
'We are planning to have a stag party over the weekend of the Sevens and I have friends trying to get online to buy tickets, not just from Hong Kong but from Britain and Ireland too, and it's a disaster.
'We've all been trying since 10am this morning but none of us has been able to get one ticket.'
Businessman Chris Stevens did not fare any better, but tried to stay philosophical about it all.
'With so many people trying to get online it makes getting a ticket very difficult. It's pot luck,' he said.
'All you can do is keep trying and hope for the best. I was out of luck, but hopefully I'll be able to buy a ticket from a friend eventually.'
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) said that the extraordinary demand for yesterday's sale caused delays in Cityline's ticketing process. While Cityline had been anticipating a high demand, the huge rush exceeded its expectations.
'The union is disappointed with the inability of Cityline's online system to handle this particular demand and acknowledges that there has been some dissatisfaction over the sales process from the public trying to purchase tickets,' HKRFU chairman Trevor Gregory said.
'During the sale and at the request of the union, Cityline did implement additional measures to further enhance the speed of the process. These included adding bandwidth and removing graphic elements from their online website.'
As a result of these measures, the time per transaction was reduced progressively during the sale, Gregory confirmed.
'Notwithstanding this improvement, the union remains dissatisfied with the length of time required to process applications and the difficulty people experienced in accessing the system,' he said.
'The union still believes, however, that online sales remain the most equitable, safest and convenient measure to distribute tickets to the local public.'
Despite the glitches, all the tickets were sold.
The event is now officially sold out and 120,000 spectators are expected over the three days of competition.