Ireland vs England tickets going for almost 10 times face value

Hotcakes may or may not be popular in Ireland, but Ireland vs England tickets for the upcoming Six Nations match are sure selling like them.

Tickets for the game, which takes place at the 52,000-seat Aviva Stadium in the first round of the tournament on February 2, were sold out weeks ago.

Prices through the roof

And a look at social media shows that prices on secondary ticket sites have gone through the proverbial roof.

Officially, the top Ireland vs England tickets are listed at €150. However, a quick look at several resell sites show that the prices are reaching almost 10 times that.

On Viagogo, for example, fans wishing to watch the game in person will need to splash out at least €690 for the cheapest seats on the upper tier — normal price €65 — while one in the lower level closer to the action — normal price €150 — will cost  €970.

At liverugbytickets.co.uk, another online marketplace for ticket resale, the tickets range from €895 to €1400 — or about 9.3 times face value.

Meanwhile, similar tickets on stubhub.co.uk (which is owned by ebay) are selling tickets priced from €460 to €1335.

Fans desperately seeking tickets

Fans, no doubt, are baulking from paying such prices and are trying their luck on social media.

As one “dedicated fan”, wrote on Twitter: “Desperately seeking #6Nations tickets for #IREvENG and #irevfra.

To which another fan responded: “You and me both! I have never seen such an absence of them for a match. It’s almost like they don’t exist!

Another fan wrote on Twitter that he had everything but the ticket: “They are probably rarer than a Brexit-free news report but I am after tickets for Ireland V England in 6 Nations. Have flights and hotel but lacking the vital component. Any leads more than welcome.

Only two chances to watch Ireland at home

Ireland, the defending champions and Grand Slam winners last year, went through 2018 unbeaten. Hope for a similar run of form in 2019 will climax with the Rugby World Cup in Japan in September-October.

But they will have to do it the hard way in the Six Nations as they have only two home matches this season. Against England and France. Their games against Wales, Scotland and Italy will not be on hospitable grounds.

Ireland’s match against France at the Aviva, on March 10, is also sold out. However, their prices on liverugbytickets.co.uk are not yet at the levels of the England game though they are still pricey, ranging from €560 to €780.

Vital match for both teams

The match against England is seen as pivotal. England are second-favourites for the Six Nations title and also finished 2018 well, losing only to New Zealand narrowly in the autumn internationals series.

The match has added significance for England, in that losing to Ireland in the Six Nations before the past two Rugby World Cups coincided with England’s worst performances in the tournament.

Ireland meanwhile, have never ventured beyond the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup. A good outcome from the Six Nations tournament would put them on the right track for another successful year.

Resale market benefits most 

The big winners so far, though, would seem to be those in the rugby community who managed to get hold of the tickets and are now in a position to make big profits out of the high demand.

The Irish Mirror newspaper reported that the scenario was similar before Ireland’s 16-9 win over the All Blacks last November. Tickets then were being sold at more than €800. 

Irish politician Noel Rock told the paper that he had received assurances from the Government that legislation surrounding the issue would be looked at as soon as possible, with the end of January cited as a possible deadline.

We need to put an end to this scourge of touting where people with access can snap up multiple tickets, corner the market and gouge real fans out of their hard earned cash,” he said.

In England, the Rugby Football Union have tried to clamp down on the reselling of tickets by setting up an official exchange service. There doesn’t appear to be such a service at the Irish RFU.

Until things change, fans looking to get Ireland v England tickets may have no choice but to pay the secondary market price. 

They will just have to do their due diligence on the various online marketplaces:

These are sites that have secure platforms for processing payment.  They offer guarantees that if you do not get your ticket on time, they will refund.  The tickets they have are the legit ones.  The prices of the tickets are set not by the platforms but by the sellers of the tickets themselves.  

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  1. As long as there are people rich enough or keen enough to pay, then fair enough. Its wrong of course if the organisers themselves put prices at outrageous levels, catering to only the wealthy.
    Look at RWC tickets: finals prices are crazy but they will all sell out for sure.

    • Yep, and I reckon the Ireland vs France Six Nations ticket in March will also hit crazy levels.

      And you are right about the RWC tickets. Almost all tickets on general sale are gone. The only way to get them now would be if you book a travel package through one of the many licensed operators.

      But it’s not just rugby of course. A quick look at the Australian Open tennis currently on in Melbourne will tell you that watching top-level sport in the flesh comes with very high prices. The quarterfinal tickets (almost sold out) are from A$150 to A$500. Tickets for the final day cost A$315-895. All have long sold out.

  2. This sounds crazy to me. Ticket prices going up 10X the normal price? 

    There should be some form of government regulations so that certain group of people do not profit excessively from a system which is supposed to be for the common good.With technology advancing by the day, there should be some way to place a quota system in place for resellers. 

    This Ireland vs England match is certainly going to be explosive. It’s just a pity that so many people will have to miss the two opportunities to watch them in 2019, no thanks to the merchants in the secondary market.

    On second thoughts, life is all about priorities, isn’t it? If the match is really really worth it, then go get the ticket no matter the cost.

    • Prices going up to 10 times its value is not that unusual for major sporting contests. This happens regularly at FIFA World Cup finals, for example, or in the Champions League, when the big teams get to the final. 

      I think government has a duty to ensure that the common man gets to watch these games but they also have to leave it to the market. Their role is to somehow ensure people are not cheated by resellers. But the opportunity to make a legitimate profit is part and parcel of open markets.

      People will still be watching the Ireland vs England rugby match, but they will do it via cable TV at home or from bars and in public spaces where the atmosphere can often be almost as good as at the stadium. 

      Bottom line is: if you can afford to pay 10 times the price and if that is worth it to you, then go for it. Life, as you say, is all about priorities.  People have to do some personal weighing!

  3. This is a great article really hitting the nail on the head for how popular the Ireland and England rugby teams are. It also shows how the demand for sports tickets in general is becoming very expensive.

    The ticket re-sellers in this particular instance are reaping major rewards and it goes to show this business can be very profitable. Really enjoyed the information and looking forward to learning more about Rugby from other pages on your website.

    How common nowadays is it for tickets to cost this much more than regular price? Is this scenario trending upward? 

    • I think there will always be a few games from time to time that everyone wants to watch and, accordingly, the demand for tickets for these games will far exceed supply. 

      In such a situation, the price system will find a level that clears the market. 

      As for re-sellers benefiting, I guess that will always happen in such situations. 

      Keep in mind that the re-sellers are comprised not only of the real professional touts, but I reckon in instances like this, primarily of the regular rugby fans themselves. 

      And in sports like rugby where the ruling bodies try to ensure supporters are not being fleeced and implement tight control over the distribution of tickets, it is still inevitable that supporters lucky enough to have access to tickets, such as members of clubs and of the sporting bodies, will jump onto the bandwagon of supply and demand opportunity and sell when they see too-good-a-chance to make some money.

      So yes, it’s actually quite common, across all the sports, for prices to spike to these heights when circumstances align for a game to become pivotal in a huge international arena.

  4. If the tickets are selling at that much, it can only mean one thing: these are teams to watch and whoever wins here might go all the way to the finals. 

    So it is hard game to predict who might be the winner. That can only mean both teams are very good. They are on  their top condition . 

    So this is where I say the most tactical and determined will be the winner … may the best team win.

    Let the game begin.

  5. This is really surprising that the tickets are going 10 times the face value of it. That shows the demand there is for the tickets in the market. I also like how you mentioned that the fans are desperately seeking for tickets, which I think is the main cause for this surge on the price.

    Well written article with some insightful information on the game. Thank you for posting this article.

    • Yes, thankfully, it doesn’t happen all the time in most games.  

      But when the match is pivotal to a major event, as the Ireland vs England match, then ticket prices are going to spike and you’ll find it’s the fan-base itself that is driving the spike.  

      And I have to emphasise, this happens across all sports with a pivotal game in the buildup.

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