Fight promoter shapes up to Ticketblaster ‘rip-off’
The promoter of former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn claims an online ticketing company is trying to rip off boxing fans ahead of the upcoming Horn v Tim Tszyu "Superfight".
Dean Lonergan, the long-time promoter of Horn, claims the company Ticketblaster is charging exorbitant ticket prices for the August 26 bout at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, with tickets being offered at up to almost 600 per cent above recommended retail value.
Lonergan is urging spectators to purchase official tickets through Ticketmaster, and has told the Townsville Bulletin he intends to file a complaint with police in Townsville. "It's not on, they are trying to rip fight fans off and I am fuming," Lonergan said.
"This event has taken a lot of organising and time, and for Ticketblaster to come along and charge these outrageous prices is an absolute disgrace.
"It's just not right. I really hope people stay well away from this site. They deserve to watch a quality fight at an affordable price."
The cheapest tickets for the upcoming fight are selling for $29.90 in category 4 on Ticketmaster, while Ticketblaster was selling tickets in the same section for $89 yesterday.
A category 3 in tier 120 is selling for $47 on Ticketmaster, and on Ticketblaster the same section was selling at $279.
The Queensland parliament has passed laws that make ticket scalping an offence at venues including Queensland Country Bank Stadium, with tickets unable to be sold more than 10 per cent above the original ticket price.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said people trying to rip-off Townsville fight-goers should think again.
"The law is very clear on this - mark-ups of more than 10 per cent on tickets for events at Townsville Stadium are illegal," she said.
"Whether you're a buyer or seller, if you're a party to an illegal transaction like this you can be hit with a hefty fine.
"So don't risk a fine and spoil it for the other fight-goers who just want to see Jeff Horn do Queensland proud."
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said laws were in place to prevent scalpers taking advantage of sports fans.
"The Horn versus Tszyu bout will be one of the greatest events of the year in Townsville, but I don't want to see scalpers ripping off Queenslanders and putting our health protocols at risk," she said.
"That's why we have tough laws in place to deliver a knockout blow to dodgy ticket scalpers."
Ticketblaster was approached for comment and said it has removed sales for the Horn and Tszyu fight from its website.
"As you can imagine the event ticketing industry has been severely hit by the ongoing effects of COVID-19. Our offices are essentially closed and running on skeleton staff at the moment with only minimal support staff working," a Ticketblaster spokesperson said.
"Ticketblaster is a ticket exchange/marketplace. Our trusted platform allows people who can no longer attend the event or trusted resellers to price tickets at 'market value' based on a price they wish. This is may be below or above face value.
"In this instance, where an event is not sold out and sellers set their desired price above original cost, it is unlikely that their tickets would sell on our site.
"We have had some minor communications with a subagent of the promoter … In the interests of ongoing commercial interests with this party we have decided to remove the event from our website."
Originally published as Fight promoter shapes up to Ticketblaster 'rip-off'