The Welsh Rugby Union has sent out a warning to ticketless fans hoping to attend the 'sold-out' RBS 6 Nations final round clash with England at the Millennium Stadium - and pointed them in the direction of the last remaining way to gain access by official means.
The WRU's message to desperate fans hoping that the match will become a Grand Slam game for England and a championship decider for both teams, after round four has been played out, is 'do not become a victim of profiteering ticket touts'.
Research conducted by the WRU has found tickets for sale from various unofficial online outlets at prices which not only match, but in many cases, far exceed those available from official WRU Hospitality channels.
Fans could be duped into purchasing tickets online (which may or may not be authentic), when they could spend the same - or much less - money on official tickets, which include all the added extras of WRU hospitality.
Many tickets on online auction sites had received bids in excess of £500 at the last time of looking. Selling Welsh Rugby Union tickets on auction sites is a breach of the terms and conditions of sale which are printed on the back of the ticket - any breach could lead to the cancellation of the ticket and to entry being refused, so the WRU is dedicated to tracking down offenders and stamping out the practice.
But, perhaps most importantly, the WRU wants fans to realise they can access official tickets, which also come with a full range of hospitality benefits included, for as little as £379 plus VAT from official sources.
The WRU has hospitality still available for the Wales v England game, including its best priced 'Boot Room Package' which is also uniquely available to individual fans, for just £399.
Whilst the total number of fans who could still be accommodated through the official hospitality route is in the hundreds rather than thousands, the WRU is keen to make fans aware that there is no need for them to risk being 'ripped off' by purchasing from non-official sources.
"We take the issue of ticket touting extremely seriously, we make every effort to discourage the practice and track down and sanction anyone who breaks the terms and conditions on our tickets," said WRU chief executive Roger Lewis.
"As well as taking the recent step to regulate hospitality in relation to Welsh rugby games, we also have systems in place to police the ticket touts.
"It breaks our terms and conditions to pass on tickets in this way and it is important for us to take steps to try to both protect fans from being ripped off and to also ensure that any revenue created by our national sport is retained in the game and not lost to those only interested in profiteering.
"Most importantly, in the instance of the Wales versus England game later this month, we need fans in both countries to realise they can still get access to great value hospitality tickets at the Millennium Stadium for, in many cases, less money than is being asked for by the touts.
"There is no need to pay extortionate prices for tickets and put money in the pockets of those profiteering from the game, when you can pay the same money - or less - and be treated to a full VIP experience at the Millennium Stadium.
"The game is sold-out and official hospitality tickets are running out fast, but whilst they are still available we want to makes sure the fans know about it."
Fans wishing to access official WRU hospitality packages, starting at £379 per person plus VAT, for Wales v England at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 16th March 2013 (Kick-off 5.00pm), should visit www.wru.co.uk/hospitality or call 08443722722.
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