The biggest demand in history for tickets to this weekend’s semi final clash between Western Province and the Bulls crashed the system leaving many fans angry.
Bronwynne Jooste and Kowthar Solomons – Cape Argus
Hundreds of frustrated rugby fans had to wait in long queues for tickets for this weekend’s Currie Cup match between Western Province and the Blue Bulls at Newlands, after an unexpectedly huge demand sent computer systems crashing.
Tickets for the semi-final match went on sale yesterday morning. Operators admit that they were not prepared for the high demand, and sales outlets could not cope.
People started queuing outside the Newlands box office from about 9am yesterday after being turned away at different outlets.
Outlets include Computicket branches in Shoprite Checkers stores, the Newlands box office, online portals and call centres.
Shoprite marketing director Bryan Weyers said that although Computicket’s system was “the best in the country”, the sheer demand for tickets caused the system crash.
“The system couldn’t deal with the volume and needed to be shut down. The technicians fixed the problem and we are accepting bookings now,” said Weyers just before 6pm on Monday.
When the Cape Argus contacted Computicket’s telephonic booking system on Monday night, they were told to call after 7pm. The Cape Argus tried again later and was told the system was working, but still had a few bugs.
WP Rugby extended its office hours on Monday afternoon, promising to serve the last client.
WP Rugby managing director Rob Wagner said this was the highest national demand they had had for any past sell-out Super 14 or Test match.
“We do understand that customers have experienced difficulties given the high demand and we apologise for this.”
At 5pm on Monday, about 9 000 tickets were still available and a sell-out was expected. Available ticket figures could not be obtained on Tuesday morning.
On Monday afternoon, scores of fans braved the rain to stand in the queue for hours at the Newlands box office.
Adri Ford had travelled all the way from Stellenbosch for tickets for herself and friends from Europe. Ford said she waited in line for three hours.
Moses Kwali, from Rondebosch, had asked his boss for time off to buy his tickets.