Public faces luck-of-the-draw ballot for Hong Kong Sevens tickets
Stung by widespread condemnation of online sales of Sevens tickets in recent years, a public ballot will be used to ensure everyone gets a "fair and equal chance" of getting one for next year's event.
A total of 4,000 public tickets, priced at HK$1,500 for an adult and HK$150 for children under 12, will be distributed through a public ballot for which people can start registering from today until February 4. The draw will be held on February 7.
"We feel this gives everyone a fair and equal chance," Hong Kong Rugby Football Union chairman Trevor Gregory said. "We have tried different systems over the years with people queuing up and online sales, but no matter what we did a lot of people were left unhappy."
This year many people complained they could not get online due to the system crashing, with some spending six hours failing to get past the landing page.
"With a seven-week registration period we believe all interested spectators will be able to register at their convenience and the luck of the draw will ensure the fairest spread of tickets to the public," Gregory said.
Gregory believed the ballot would also deter touts due to the luck element involved. There will also be increased security measures to catch counterfeit tickets.
"An open ballot will mean touts cannot load up their people to call in online and purchase tickets or, as in the past, pay people to queue up. We will also have hand-held scanners at the stadium which will pick up forgeries and we hope all this will enable us to fight touting," Gregory said.
Each applicant can purchase a maximum of two tickets. They will be required to verify their local residency with valid Hong Kong ID card details and postal address for registered mail or courier services.