Premier League Asia Trophy Hong Kong 2017

Cityline website struggles to cope as tickets for Premier League Asia Trophy go on sale in Hong Kong

Frustrated fans left to mash their F5 key in hope of securing briefs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 June, 2017, 2:53pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 July, 2017, 3:34pm

The much-maligned Cityline website seemed to be struggling with demand as football fans in Hong Kong – and around the world – tried to buy tickets for the Premier League Asia Trophy on Friday.

Tickets went on sale at 2pm, but even from 10am the website was displaying ‘too busy’ error messages.

The site declared: “All internet ticketing sessions are currently taken up by customers. Please access again by clicking the ‘Retry’ button below. Thank you for your patience.”

On Thursday, a Cityline spokesman insisted the site had been upgraded since 2015, when football fans trying to buy tickets for a Hong Kong v China World Cup qualifier were left frustrated.

Tickets were also on sale at Tom Lee outlets with around 300 people queueing outside the Causeway Bay branch.

Some fans had queued since midnight, but even the first in line, a Mr Poon, had to wait for 10 minutes for computers in the shop to deal with his request.

“I was a bit surprised when I came here last night after my shift at midnight,” said Liverpool fan Poon.

“I thought there would be a lot more people here. This is going to the be the first time I watch the Asia Trophy but the Premier League is always a big attraction.”

Some 25,000 tickets were available for both days of the competition on July 19 and 22, which features Liverpool, Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.

“Cityline periodically reviews its ticketing system. In terms of capacity, the ticketing system is now double the size compared to 2015,” said a spokesman before the tickets went on sale.

“There has also been a number of changes made to the hardware to better handle the heavy demand normally associated with opening sales.

“The outcome of Big Bang concert ticketing in December 2016 has proven our current ticketing solution is adequate. We will continue to face challenges and we will continue to make improvement in response to market needs.”