I’ve looked at it with some consternation on the cricinfo site and now the beggars have gone and dropped one into my inbox. Well, two inboxes if you count the email account I keep for those extra special moments (only joking).
Yes, there it is, at the top. Delivered at 9.35pm. “Buy your Ashes tickets on Seatwave”. Sounds reasonable, there aren’t too many about, and why should we settle for watching it from home. OK, I fancy getting down to Lord’s on Saturday, so let’s see how easy it will be for me to “relive 2005” (I’d probably relive it better if England stopped losing clusters of wickets in the second half of the day).
I press the green “view tickets” button and, blimey, there are only 11 for sale. Row J Edrich Stand, quite a nice view, if a bit distant. £375. A bit steep for a couple of seats. A couple of seats? No, £375 each. So. you mean that’ll set me back £750? Well it would do, but then there’s the Seatwave commission. What’s this, like a booking charge you get at a theatre. Hmm. Not quite. That’ll be another £129.38 please. What? It includes VAT. Oh.
Oh and then there’s the delivery charge: £12 if you don’t mind guv. So that’s a total of £891.38. And the face value of your tickets. Um, £75 each.
Well, you get what you pay for.
Or do you? Who the hell are Seatwave anyway? “An online fan-to-fan ticket exchange”.
What fan, finding himself suddenly unable to attend one of the great sporting contests of the summer rips off his fellow fan by charging him more than six times the face value of his ticket?
Is this not just a form of touting? And wasn’t it the ECB who said they were clamping down on the secondary market, particularly the auction sites such as eBay, to the point where tickets bought that way would be declared void.
So, what do the ECB have to say about this? I’d love to know. And why is a site such as cricinfo opening its pages for Seatwave to advertise on. Its Wimbledon Debentures writ large.
And it’s just not cricket as far as I’m concerned. I’ll stick to my Sky subscription.
Memo to cricinfo marketing department, however: Do not insult my intelligence by sending me more of this crap.