Fans given ‘shady’ deal

Re­fund of­fer for those who bought top-tier seats only for area to be closed

The Sunday Times - - PERTH TEST COUNTDOWN: 5 DAYS TO GO - PE­TER LAW Con­tact Tick­et­mas­ter or email tick­[email protected]

RE­FUNDS are be­ing of­fered to cricket fans with tick­ets to this week’s in­au­gu­ral Test at Op­tus Sta­dium af­ter hav­ing their seats moved out of the shaded top tier.

Cricket Aus­tralia (CA) said about 1500 tick­ethold­ers over the four days of play had been re­lo­cated into like-for­like priced seats else­where on the lower lev­els.

As re­ported by The Sun­day Times, level five will be closed due to low­erthan-ex­pected ticket sales for the Test, which starts on Fri­day.

Fans have been of­fered free sun­screen for the match, which was ex­pected to draw a crowd of about 70,000.

Only the WACA mem­bers’ end of the sta­dium will be open on the top tier and CA has re­jected calls from Can­cer Coun­cil WA to make the level five seats avail­able for sale, de­spite the mer­cury be­ing fore­cast to reach 34C on Fri­day.

De­voted cricket sup­porter Michelle Ryan had planned to travel from her home in Syd­ney to cheer on Justin Langer’s Aus­tralia against In­dia at the new 60,000-seat sta­dium.

Back in June she bought tick­ets that cost $105 each to sit on level five and in-line with the wicket for the first three days of play, as well as pay­ing for flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Last Satur­day she was shocked to re­ceive an email from Tick­et­mas­ter that said due to “op­er­a­tional rea­sons the area where you orig­i­nally pur­chased tick­ets is no longer avail­able”.

She was told her seats had been re­lo­cated, “but please don’t worry, we have moved you closer to the ac­tion on level one and close to the food and bev­er­age out­lets”.

The new seats she was of­fered were re­lo­cated next to the sight screen and in an area that will get pe­ri­ods of sun in the mid morn­ing and early af­ter­noon.

“I am ab­so­lutely dis­gusted with Cricket Aus­tralia’s de­ci­sion,” she said. “I live in Syd­ney and fol­low the Test team around the world. How­ever, due to the lack of shade at the WACA, I have watched Tests in Perth on two oc­ca­sions. “There­fore when tick­ets went on sale for Op­tus Sta­dium I de­lib­er­ately bought tick­ets on level five. I bought these tick­ets on June 5, which was the first day they went on sale to Gold Cricket Fam­ily Mem­bers.

“If I wanted to sit on level one — where they are putting me now — I would have bought them at that time. To say that free sun­screen will solve the prob­lem is ridicu­lous.”

She has re­quested a re­fund from Tick­et­mas­ter, but will travel to Perth where she’ll watch the Test on TV. “I find it amaz­ing they moved cricket out of the WACA be­cause it was too small and moved into the sta­dium that’s too big,” Ms Ryan said.

WA Na­tion­als’ sports spokesman Pe­ter Run­dle wrote to CA to urge it to re­con­sider the de­ci­sion. A CA spokesman said it was happy to dis­cuss re­funds or al­ter­na­tive seat­ing with sup­port­ers.

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