TRI-NATIONS SALES OFF TO SLOW START

SA RUGBY has launched an investigation into the slow start to ticket sales for the Vodacom Tri-Nations series, having met the chief executives of some of the hosting unions.

SA RUGBY has launched an investigation into the slow start to ticket sales for the Vodacom Tri-Nations series, having met the chief executives of some of the hosting unions.

The Springboks kick off three successive home Test matches on Saturday when they take on New Zealand in Bloemfontein.

Ticket sales started off slowly, despite the appeal of a Boks-All Black clash, though they have subsequently picked up.

"Prices are always the first thing people look at but ticket prices have been growing at less than the rate of inflation for the last five years," said Andy Marinos, acting managing director of SA Rugby.

"This year they have been frozen at 2008's prices - R425 in the case of Bloemfontein - but sales have been weak despite the relatively low price and the excitement of seeing a great Springbok generation take on the All Blacks."

Marinos said SA Rugby and the host unions were hopeful the proximity of the series would see ticket sales pick up. Prices have also been reduced to R300 for some seats at Vodacom Park on Saturday.

"We must acknowledge the financial crisis and the delayed effect it has had in South Africa but there may be other factors at play."

Marinos said there had been an unusual number of no-shows (people with tickets who do not attend) in the Lions Series, while some groups with contractual rights to Tri-Nations tickets had not taken up their options.

"Event fatigue may come into it," he said.

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