NICK Smith MP has called for tickets to the Rugby World Cup 2015 to be protected from resale and for ordinary people.
The Blaenau Gwent MP is asking for tickets to be protected from touts in the same way as the Olympics.
With tickets to follow Wales’ RWC campaign already set to rise as high as £315 for the most expensive seats, Mr Smith is keen for his country’s rugby fans to not be priced out of a spectacle on their doorstep.
Speaking after questioning the Government in Parliament on the issue, he said: “Rugby Union is the sporting cornerstone of our country, and with our national team set to do our nation proud on home soil, fans of all backgrounds deserve to join in the fun.
“But time and time again, we see tickets selling out in seconds only to appear an hour later on websites at prices that will make your eyes water.
“The Six Nations has done well in rewarding stalwart followers of the clubs with ticket allocations, but the RWC will be a different matter. This is especially true as sophisticated computer programmes allow mass ticket purchases within seconds.
“The Olympics resell system had its teething problems, but that shouldn’t dissuade this Government from doing the right thing and recognising the RWC for what it is -; an event of national significance that should unite the whole nation in celebration.”
Labour Shadow Sports Minister, Clive Efford, has tabled an early day motion to call on the Government to prevent fans being ripped off by mass-scale touting.
Note: In Leader of the House of Commons Questions today, Mr Smith asked: “Can we have a statement on the sale of Rugby World Cup tickets. The protection of Olympic tickets from resale helped stop ticket touting. Can we make the Rugby World Cup a party for ordinary people, not just the rich.”