Tickets for Aviva Stadium matches cannot be sold for more than face value under new touting laws

Tickets for Aviva Stadium matches cannot be sold for more than face value under new touting laws

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu saves a penalty from Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo last month. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The Aviva Stadium will be a designated venue from midnight tonight under the government’s new ticket touting laws.

This means that from tomorrow, tickets for the Ireland v Portugal match and the Autumn rugby internationals cannot be sold for more than face value.

As of this morning, tickets for the soccer match were on sale for up to €420 on resale websites, more than three times their face value, after tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale.

The two teams will meet on November 11 in the Aviva Stadium, with Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo a big draw for Irish soccer fans.

Speaking earlier, Leo Varadkar said the game will be made a designated event so people will not be able to resale tickets at inflated prices.

Mr Varadkar said his officials are working on the matter but said it could take a few days to alter the status of the event.

“We want to make sure that as many of them get designated as possible. And like I say, I have put that application in now. Obviously, they should have done sooner and perhaps we should have acted sooner. But like I say this is new legislation and there'll be clarity over the next couple of days,” he said.

Earlier, Fine Gael Senator Garret Ahearn called on the IRFU to designate the upcoming Ireland and New Zealand rugby international as a protected event to ensure that tickets are not sold for over their face value.

Senator Ahearn told RTÉ  that under anti-touting legislation the sporting bodies could designate the event or the venue as protected, and he appealed to both the IRFU and the FAI to designate the venues for all games.

The IRFU would have to apply today to have the New Zealand game designated, he cautioned.

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Workers' Rights, Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly called on the Government to designate the event as protected if the IRFU did not do so.

Senator Ahearn said that the responsibility for the inflated prices for the Portugal game rested with the FAI who had failed to designate either the event or the venue.

“The legislation is there to cover genuine fans.” 

At the time that the anti-touting legislation was passed, the Attorney General had advised that the designation process would make it easier for gardaí to police events, he added.

“This legislation was brought forward to protect families.” 

Ms O’Reilly said that it was clear that the Tánaiste could designate an event and that the Government should act as only three applications had been made by venues or organisers up to the end of September.

“If the industry is not going to be proactive then the Government should be.” 

While the FAI was “clearly” to blame for not designating the Portugal game, the Government had allowed it to happen, she said. The anti-touting legislation had fallen at the first hurdle. There was a need to stamp out ticket touting.

“Let’s hope the Government learns from this.”

Earlier, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Robert Troy said he was “disappointed and annoyed” at the failure of the FAI to avail of the anti-ticket touting legislation that was introduced in the summer.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, he said that all sporting bodies, music promoters and venues in excess of 1,000 have a responsibility to seek designation for an event.

Mr Troy added that he would appeal to all to register for designation to protect their patrons.

He said he had written to all sporting organisations, promoters and venues at the end of August to make them aware of the new legislation and many of them had been involved in pre-legislative scrutiny and were aware of the protections offered.

“We’ve worked with the stakeholders and made them aware of their responsibility.” 

The organisations involved were best placed to know which events would have a high demand and should be designated, he said.

Mr Troy said he asked the Aviva stadium to ensure that this does not happen again. 

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