The AFL will look for a midweek sellout of the Greater Western Sydney-Western Bulldogs preliminary final after disappointing sales to Giants members were balanced by a strong pick-up from the Melbourne club’s fans.
Dogs members snapped up 8100 seats at Spotless Stadium during the exclusive member sale period on Monday, compared to a disappointing 6200 purchased by Giants members.
The AFL said the remaining 4600 unsold member tickets then went on general sale. Another 5,100 more general admission and specialty tickets make up the 24,000-capacity for the venue
The sales on Monday and subsequent availability of more general admission tickets allay fears that scores of Bulldogs fans would miss out on the opportunity to see their side attempt to book a first grand-final berth since 1961.
The venue has been a contentious point, with the AFL defending its decision to schedule the match at the Giants’ home ground on Saturday rather than the much larger ANZ Stadium.
It was a happy ending for the league but the day did not start as smoothly, as slow Ticketmaster and Ticketek websites aggravated fans and “legalised scalping” dramatically inflated prices.
Category 1 seats initially priced at $179 were posted for re-sale on Ticketmaster at up to $401.
The AFL Fans’ Association called on the league to address the issue.
“This is taking advantage of desperate fans,” president Gerry Eeman said.
“It is legalised scalping which facilitates blatant profiteering.
“The AFL will need to do something about this in the off-season.”
Giants captain Callan Ward still believed the AFL had made the correct decision in granting his team the right to host at Spotless Stadium.
“I think it is (the right call),” Ward said.
“All our boys love playing at Spotless.
“When the fans get out there it’s a really good feeling.
“It’s a great ground to watch the game at, I think it was voted No.1 in Australia.”
The AFL said 21,100 public tickets were still available Friday night’s other preliminary final between Geelong and Sydney at the MCG.