SEA Games: Scalpers cash in tickets

SEA Games: Scalpers cash in tickets
A soft-toy of Nila, the 28th Sea Games mascot seen at Orchard Road.

Tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies of June's SEA Games are being resold on an unauthorised ticketing website - all above face value - despite the fact that 40 per cent of tickets to the June 5 opening are still available.

Some of the opening-ceremony tickets, whose official price range is $12 to $60, are even going at more than seven times the original price.

Ticket exchange website Ticketbis has a $12 Category 3 ticket for the opening going for up to $85 while a $60 top-tier ticket is being put up for up to $170.

In response, the Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (Singsoc) is urging the public to buy tickets only through official sources. It has put up an advisory regarding the issue on the Games' official website and also plans to use other platforms to educate the public on the matter.

Toh Boon Yi, Singsoc executive committee's chief of community and corporate outreach, said yesterday that there were no authorised ticket resellers for the June 5-16 Games.

"Ticket sales for the opening ceremony have been brisk, with about 60 per cent of seats sold to date," he noted.

"Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that there are tickets being sold through unauthorised means."

Ticket exchange websites such as Ticketbis function as a secondary dealer, allowing users to buy and sell official tickets to events.

While spectators who buy tickets through such channels will not be turned away as long as they hold legitimate tickets, Toh noted that organisers are unable to guarantee the authenticity of any tickets transacted through secondary dealers.

He said: "We would like to remind the public that unauthentic tickets will not be valid for entrance into competition venues and the opening and closing ceremonies.

"We will not hesitate to decline such tickets at the gates and take appropriate action against errant vendors. We urge the public to be mindful of purchasing tickets through unauthorised vendors and report this via the official ticketing hotline."

Singapore is hosting the 28th edition of the biennial Games for the first time since 1993. More than 7,000 athletes and officials are expected here, competing across 402 events in 36 sports.

Ticket sales to the opening and closing ceremonies are open to the public while priority tickets to the sports events are also available now.

Public sales for the sports events will begin on Feb 4.

Official Games tickets can be purchased from the official Games website at www.seagames2015.com, official ticketing hotline (3158- 8080), any SingPost outlet and the Singapore Indoor Stadium's box office.

maychen@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on January 31, 2015.
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