A ticketing frenzy has engulfed Saturday’s AFL preliminary final, as Greater Western Sydney and Western Bulldogs fans fight to snap up fast-disappearing seats already being “legally scalped” for up to $400.
A reported 18,000 tickets had already been sold on Monday morning for the 24,000-capacity venue to members of both clubs and ANZ Stadium.
The venue for the clash has been a contentious point after the AFL stuck with historical modelling and scheduled the match at the Giants’ home ground rather than the much larger ANZ Stadium.
The league’s decision, made on the basis that a maximum of 8000 people usually travel to watch their clubs play finals footy interstate, sparked fears the Bulldogs’ 40,000-strong member base would be left disappointed.
The Giants have a membership of around 16,000.
Die-hard Dogs fans camped out at Footscray overnight to secure their tickets while others encountered problems attempting to buy them online.
Hours before the leftovers were due to be made available to the general public on Monday afternoon, tickets had already been advertised for re-sale on Ticketmaster at prices significantly higher than those set by the AFL.
Category 1 seats initially on sale for $179 were up for re-sale at up to $401.
The AFL Fans’ Association described the practice as “legalised scalping” and 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.
“The re-sale rip-off has been happening for each final.
“Playing the game at a small stadium like Spotless means tickets are already scarce, which means supporters are even more vulnerable than usual.
“It is also wrong that these resellers have had access to up to eight tickets each.
“We’d like to know how this can happen for such a high-demand game with extremely limited ticket availability.”
Giants captain Callan Ward still believed the AFL had made the correct decision in granting his team their right to host.
“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.
“It’s a great ground to watch the game and the players love being there.”