The Challenge Cup Final is set to take place this weekend as Huddersfield Giants take on Wigan Warriors at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
On a Saturday afternoon with a bank holiday, people would perhaps have predicted ticket sales to be booming – particularly with Huddersfield Town also playing at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
However, there was a bit of furore on social media when it was realised that the Rugby Football League (RFL) had decided to make tickets free for a section of people, presumably, poor ticket sales ahead of the crunch fixture on Saturday.
Comments such as it was a shame if you had already bought your ticket – especially if you are a large family forking out hundreds of pounds to go watch the final – took over social media.
However, the RFL has sought to clarify its position, stating:
“In reference to comments about tickets being made available for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next weekend, a limited number (less than 200) have been made available through Tickets for Good, to allow NHS staff to attend the event. We do the same with Tickets for Troops. Anyone who has claimed these tickets but is not entitled to them via being registered with Tickets for Good will have their tickets cancelled next week.”
Whether or not the magic of Wembley has been lost by diverting to another part of London instead, it is not exactly the issue that needs to be raised just a week before the event.
And, following the controversy, the RFL released a tweet stating: “The RFL is proud to be able to make almost 200 tickets available for NHS workers to enjoy our game and we know that the vast majority of the rugby league family will join us in welcoming them and this initiative.
“The organisation managing this for us (and other sports) has a registration process that checks the credentials of all applicants and the small number of non-NHS workers who have used the link in error will be corrected at the second stage. Their tickets will be cancelled and made available again to the rightful recipients.
“Anyone wishing to purchase tickets for the Betfred Challenge Cup Final can do so at rugby-league.com/tickets.”
— Betfred Challenge Cup (@TheChallengeCup) May 22, 2022
Despite that clarification, clubs are now experiencing problems following ticketmaster’s decision to undergo ‘essential data maintenance’ ahead of a major final.
🎟 𝘾𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙣𝙜𝙚 𝘾𝙪𝙥 𝙁𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙚-𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙚𝙩 𝙪𝙥𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙚
Ticketmaster are currently in the process of essential data maintenance, once this has been completed your tickets will be issued. We thank you for your patience.
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) May 23, 2022