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Posted by on Apr 16, 2010 in BlaBla, Current Events, South Africa, Sport | 11 comments

FIFA Ticketing 2010 LOC Hear Our Plea

Okay, but what exactly does "Currently Not Available" mean?? This past week has been by far the busiest in the short (but meaningful!) history of The BlaBla Blog. We’ve had more visitors to this site in the past 4 days than in an average month around here. And 90% of that visitor traffic has been drawn by our posts regarding yesterdays’ opening of Across-the-Counter ticket sales for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

I’m not going to comment on the mini-meltdown that the nation seemed to go through yesterday at various Ticket Centres and some FNB branches, other than to say that those of you who got out of hand should be ashamed of yourselves. Maybe next time you should join the striking SAMWU members and vent your frustrations out on a garbage bin or two?

To the point Greg, to the point…

Right. Now that online sales via the FIFA.com website have been started, another issue is starting to rear its’ head. The Ticket Availability listing shows a large proportion of World Cup matches with the status “Currently Not Available”.

A comment from Marco on our earlier post prompted a couple of quick Tweets out to various 2010 related Twitter accounts, which bar one seem to have fallen on deaf ears. The one that did respond (big props!) @2010Fans who represent the official SA government 2010 fan site at South Africa 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The Tweet I sent to @2010Fans, @FIFAWorldCupTM, @2010OC and @wcsa2010 was along the lines of “What does “Not Currently Available” ticket status on Fifa.com mean? When will these tickets become available & how many?

The response I got back was “@BlaBlaBlog “Not Currently Available” means some seats have not been accounted for or claimed, so there is hope …

On asking for a little more clarity or Twitter or email account they referred me to the Fifa.com site. Which was useless at finding that information. Not the fault of @2010Fans that.

In a final effort to raise some answers (although I’m not holding my breath waiting for a response – the automated reply came back with “It is our intention to provide a response within five to seven working days.”) was to email the 2010 Enquiries address. Here’s my message to them:

Good afternoon

Could you please advise us exactly what the “Not Currently Available” ticket status on Fifa.com means? When will these tickets become available & how many will be made available?

Are these tickets that have been allocated to international fans, and may still be returned by the overseas agents and national football associations?

If so, when will this happen? At least if South African fans had an idea of the possible future availability of some tickets they may relieve some of the pressure presently being experienced at the Ticketing Centres and FNB branches (And on the Shoprite/Checkers branches from Monday.)

Lack of information is driving people into “panic buying” at the moment, and if FIFA/Match/the LOC suddenly release a flood of newly available tickets back into the market in a few weeks time, there are going to be some even more irate fans.

Secondly, if this is the case (i.e. tickets may be returned by international bodies and agencies), why are so many matches showing “Currently Not Available” under Category 4 tickets? Are these not reserved for SA citizens only?

There were rumours circulating yesterday that “there are no Category 4 tickets left at all” (specifically for Bafana Bafana games) – if this is true, why does the availability chart not show “Sold Out” for these games? Are there Category 4 tickets available at all, or will there be in the near future? And if so, when, how many and for which matches. If there are not any Category 4 tickets available, please have the Fifa.com site managers update the availability chart as soon as possible to avoid further frustrating the already very frustrated South Africans queuing for hours only to find out that they cannot get the tickets they want.

We have had thousands of views of our article regarding the ticketing process (at http://tinyurl.com/y993ku7) and have received a number of requests asking for this information and clarification. We’d much appreciate your soonest response so that we can help you communicate with the public, and do our part at spreading the news and information.

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Regards

Greg

for The BlaBla Blog

www.blabla.co.za

 

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Thats what I said!……?….!…..?

    BLABLA ROCKS!!!

    • I know!! But you were saying it while I was typing this. The more we say the better I guess.

  2. BTW FIFA told me that the ticket availability site is updated every 2 minutes……..

    • Yet despite the "29 games are no longer available" statement (which to me means "sold out"), none of the games show "Closed" or "Sold Out" on their charts. I really think they need to give us an idea of how many and when these currently not available tickets may be returned to the system.

  3. I can think of several reasons why the online tickets show up as 'currently unavailable':

    1) an online application has a 10-minute window to complete the process, which starts counting down from the moment a user selects a given match and number of seats. In that time those seats are temporarily reserved for the application and may result in a category filling up to the extent of being 'unavailable' but not sold out. Which does not explain why I've seen, on several occasions, a category go from 'sold out' (in red) to 'currently unavailable' (in orange) – for instance, right after I purchased tickets for Brazil v Ivory Coast in Joburg it showed as 'sold out' and later 'unavailable'

    2) I believe FIFA is holding back a certain allocation of tickets for each sales channel, so expect a new ticket rush when Checkers sales begin on Monday (else what would be the point of bringing them in if they're just there to tell you matches are 'unavailable'?)

    3) Corporate sponsors and MATCH have not yet allocated their entire share and possibly anticipate releasing tickets back to FIFA nearer to kick-off knowing full well they'll be able to sell those most desirable tickets so are prepared to wait on them as long as possible.

    • Hi Shai

      Thanks for thanking the time, and for your input into the situation. I think you have made 3 very valid and sensible points.

      #1 is fair and reasonable – and a good thing too. It ensures that the same ticket cannot be allocated to two different buyers at the same time, but also ensures that people don't just make "provisional" bookings and hold out on committing to the purchase indefinitely.

      #2 & #3 both also make sense, but neither answer the concerns that many locals have after having queued for hours on end (even overnight in many cases) because they were/are under the impression that "first-come, first-served" rules were being applied.

      Not once (that I am aware of at least) was there the impression given to the SA public that tickets would be filtered back into the system over time. We were told that 500,000 tickets would go on sale and we needed to get them whilst we could. i.e as soon as possible.

  4. I think the "not currently available" thing is causing much grief around the place. Some guys I was with last night mentioned that they had queued at FNB on Friday for 4 hours only to be told that the tickets they wanted were "sold out".

    They then found later when they got home on the website that the mathces they wanted were listed as "not currently avaialbale" and that for one of the games the site now had a "few seats" available. These were in category 3 and too expensive for them, but it was still irritating for them, and they were moaning about how FIFA was treating the South Africans like idiots.

    It didn't effective me, but I personally would be really pissed off if I'd stood overnight in a queue for tickets, been pushed and shoved around by security staff, stood for up 10 hours, been pepper-sprayed by the police, only to eventually find out that the tickets I wanted are not available. I would be then be spitting acid if it turns out a couple of days later that all of sudden there are a whole bunch of tickets available on the website or somewhere else.

    Didn't Danny Jordaan say these tickets would be sold on a "first-come-first-served" basis?? How about they tell us when to come to be first?

    • Sorry to hear that your friends weren't successful in their purchase bids JB. Their frustrations are being echoed all over the place sadly.

      We're working on getting some sort of clarity and more information about the issues at the moment, so stay close…

  5. This is crap. They're selling our category 4 tickets abroad.. They call them category 3 tickets.. Check this out –>

    http://www.razorgator.com/worldcuptickets/sports/

    See the picture of the stadium that shows you where seats are allocated? One can buy the seats behind the goalposts, which are infact our seats 🙁

    • It’s a fair observation Genevieve – thanks for sharing it with us here at The BlaBla Blog!

      Mind you, it’s not an enterily unknown issue – the Cat 3 tickets were always pitched as the international equal of the Cat 4 tickets, with the addition of seats “in the corners” in some stadiums.

      From the FIFA Ticketing info:
      > Seats for Category 3 tickets are generally located adjacent to Category 2 behind the goals or in the corners
      > Seats for Category 4 tickets are generally located behind the goals.

      It is also worth noting that if you log onto the ticketing site and try to buy tickets from “Another country” the availability table shows exactly the same thing as it does for locals – i.e. Category 3 tickets are also “Currently Unavailable” for international buyers.

      Also worth a look is why anyone would pay Razorgate $228 for a ticket that FIFA list at just $80 officially. Surely they need to be returning any unsold tickets they have back to FIFA already?

      The whole process remains both interesting and very confusing all round!

  6. Can i still have hope for purchasing tickets????It says currently unavailable/////but I have noticed a day before a match it goes on sale…I want tickets to brazil vs Port….But FIFA site keeps saying unavailable!!

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