• March 21, 2017
Those sneaking into Black Caps matches argue they’re not taking anyone’s seat because games are not full. Photo: Matthew Rosenberg
Sporting fans have been beating the system at Eden Park by attending cricket matches at a fraction of the normal cost.
The activity, described by one source as happening for “a few years now”, involves adults gaining access to Black Caps matches on children’s tickets.
With these costing $5 each, those willing to take the risk can save themselves as much as $40 per ticket.
Toby* has been doing it for several years.
“You go in there and you’re not really worried at all because no one checks you. You just walk in,” he said.
Mark* has been entering games for several years on the cheaper tickets and believed it was worth the risk. He said the penalty – having to go and buy an adult ticket - was minor for those who did get caught.
“At the end of the day it’s worth taking the risk because for students [it’s] a lot of money.”
Toby and Mark argued although they got in for a small portion of the normal price, they made up for it with the money they spent on food and drink once inside.
“If we had paid the $45, we’d have less money to spend on food once we got into the ground,” Mark said. “So all the money’s going to the same place. We’re just using it more effectively.”
But the general manager of commercial at Eden Park, Nick Sautner, said he was “disappointed that patrons would knowingly engage in the alleged conduct”.
Mr Sautner said Eden Park Trust worked diligently with their hirers, ticketing agents and contracted security to ensure patrons were complying with the terms and conditions of entry.
He added that ticket prices for the match were determined by whoever hired the venue on the day.
Callum Elder for New Zealand Cricket said that his organisation was aware of what was happening and they would be working towards putting measures in place to stop it.
But Toby had a message for New Zealand Cricket.
“Lower the prices to get more people in,” he said.
“You look at the stadiums and they’re not even over half-full for big games like the fifth one dayer between South Africa and New Zealand. We’re not taking anyone’s seats.”
*Names changed to protect identity