British & Irish Lions chief executive, John Feehan, has moved to quell mounting rumours that the Lions had any influence on or involvement in the pricing of tickets for matches in South Africa.
The seven Lions tour games to date have attracted 197,682 fans, but there have been plenty of spare seats at every game and even the first Test in Durban wasn’t a sell out. The 47,813 gate was almost 4,000 short of the ABSA Stadium’s capacity.
The average attendance over the seven games played so far is 28,240, with another big crowd expected at Newlands tonight for the clash with the Emerging Springboks.
“The South African Rugby Union and its provincial Unions had sole responsibility for the setting of ticket prices for the British & Irish Lions tour and the Lions management had no input whatsoever into any of this,” said Feehan.
“The Lions did appoint official overseas travel agencies to service the requirements of travelling British & Irish Lions supporters. However, the tickets for this programme were purchased at full price from the South African Rugby Union by the British & Irish Lions.
“It is true to say we are very surprised at the level of the attending crowds. The Lions only visit South Africa every 12 years and it is therefore disappointing that the stadiums have been far from full.”