The first 500,000 seats for next autumn’s showpiece were due to be available to members of the Rugby Community Ticketing Programme that had pre-registered ahead of the general sale window, set to open on 12 September, a date expected to remain unchanged.
Rugby World Cup organisers yesterday were forced to announce Ticketmaster – who came under fire for their shambolic handling of reselling seats for the London 2012 Olympics – will begin selling tickets at the end of the month.
Their statement read: “The live sale date has been moved from Friday 16 May, following a request from Ticketmaster for more time to test the online ticketing system they are providing to ensure that rugby fans have the best possible experience when booking tickets.
“The new sale date also gives rugby clubs more time to register their members on the system for the 500,000 tickets available.
“The Rugby Community Ticketing Programme will now run from 29 May to 2 July 2014.”
The latest problem follows the instruction for Ticketmaster to suspend its Commonwealth Games website and close phone lines on Tuesday, because prospective buyers complained of long delays when trying to snap up the remaining 100,000 seats to all 17 sports.
Glasgow 2014 organisers say 45,000 of those tickets still remain unsold and are also investigating complaints that those calling the premium rate ticket-line incurred a charge despite receiving an engaged tone.
Ticketmaster also felt the wrath of sports fans two years ago, after being forced to suspend its resale system for Olympics tickets on the day it was launched, with the website slow to update when listed seats were no longer available.