Unsold tickets hit Saru hard

Saru has lost R25.5 million because of poor crowds during the British & Irish Lions series.

This is according to former Southern Spears CEO Tony McKeever who, in his Sports Leader blog, claims that a total of 170 000 tickets were left unsold (excluding the third Test at Ellis Park, which may not be a full house).

‘Take the average round value cost for the provincial games — R125 a ticket for 166 536 non-Test tickets — and you get a loss of R20 817 000, and for the one Test in Durban, R1 140 per ticket multiplied by 4 187 tickets is R4 773 180 in unsold tickets,’ wrote McKeever.

‘All in, that is a total of about R25 590 180, a not insignificant sum for SA Rugby and the Lions to be worried about as you can be rest assured there were expectations of the “House Full” signs going up at every game the Lions played around the country.’

McKeever dismissed Saru’s claim that the tour was affected by the global downturn, saying that the economy had recovered over the last two months.

He also claimed that the poor crowds had ‘given the IRB all the ammunition it needed’ to award the 2015 and 2019 World Cups to England and Japan respectively.