Ticketek has failed AFL fans, shutting down online sales for the finals series as it struggles to meet demand.
Richmond, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney and GWS fans vented abuse on Tuesday after logging on to the Ticketek website to buy tickets, only to be met with delays and misinformation.
The member access window opened at 9am, with sales to the general public to begin at 2pm.
The drama did not affect the second qualifying final between West Coast and Collingwood at Perth’s Optus Stadium, which has an agreement with rival company Ticketmaster.
While some fans were able to purchase tickets, thousands more were stuck on hold, watching non-refreshing websites throughout the day due to the failure of Ticketek’s online systems.
— Andrew Hatch (@Hatchman76) August 27, 2018
The result is an anxious wait for many fans to know whether they’ll be able to attend the games.
“You have taken my money yet I have no ticket confirmation,” one Twitter user wrote.
Hundreds joined in on the social media website with messages including “So disappointed”, “What a shambles” and declaring the failure “a debacle”.
I’ve waited my entire life to watch the @melbournefc play finals footy and have been greeted with this travesty for close to two hours. Footy gods help me out here 🙁 #Ticketek pic.twitter.com/m0qP5Agu1q
— Bronte Kerr (@bker1231) August 28, 2018
The farce comes just four weeks after the MCG renewed its contract with Ticketek despite a history of bumbling high-demand events.
AFL clubs have communicated with members to apologise for the blunder, writing that tickets will go back on sale after the problems have been rectified.
— 7AFL (@7AFL) August 28, 2018
As of lunchtime (AEST) on Tuesday, the Ticketek website was presenting with a looping message to not refresh the page.
Delays for many users stretched past one hour.
How did @Ticketek_AU manage to take me from actually processing my payment to putting me back in que?? And now 0 tickets left. @AFL @GeelongCats judging by all the Ticketek 1 star reviews and the abysmal job they ALWAYS do, it’s time to move on. #ticketek pic.twitter.com/oN1428FTIq
— Ellmonation (@EllShaw214) August 28, 2018
AFL Fans Assocation president Gerry Eeman slammed the system.
“Unfortunately, this is an annual problem that is almost becoming part of the finals experience. The frustration of fans is palpable,” he said in a statement.
— Matt (@Mattys123) August 27, 2018
The 2018 finals commence when Richmond face Hawthorn next Thursday night at the MCG, with a crowd in excess of 80,000 expected despite the mid-week scheduling.
Comment has been sought from Ticketek.
— Cheryl Critchley (@CherylCritchley) August 28, 2018