UPDATE 10:56am: Ticketek has shut down its ticket purchasing services while it works to rectify the errors that affected customers earlier, as confirmed by Richmond Football Club officials.
We are aware of the issues members have faced with purchasing tickets to our Qualifying Final this morning.@Ticketek_AU are currently working through the issues and have elected to shut down the ticket purchasing process until the issue is rectified.
— Richmond FC 🐯 (@Richmond_FC) August 28, 2018
That swearing you can hear coming from the back corner of the office isn’t your normal, run-of-the-mill aggrieved workmate this morning. Rather, it’s an increasingly shitty footy fan trying desperately to get tickets to the AFL Finals series and running into nothing but trouble.
Ticketek, in their infinite wisdom, put all of the Finals first week games they control on sale at the exact same time this morning, almost immediately sending their system into meltdown.
The hotly anticipated Finals series features a slew of high-profile matchups featuring teams with massive fanbases, so the demand for tickets is something quite extraordinary.
The first week of the finals sees Richmond take on Hawthorn, and West Coast taking on Collingwood. Those matchups alone represent 4 of the 5 clubs with the highest AFL membership numbers. Richmond in particular has over 100,000 members alone. Though it should be said that the West Coast game is being operated by Ticketmaster.
In other games, the two oldest clubs in the land – Melbourne and Geelong – will face off at the MCG, and Sydney’s cross-town rivalry will be renewed in the Finals once again with GWS taking on the Sydney Swans.
Fans attempting to score tickets to the four games this morning have been hit with error messages and massive virtual queues as Ticketek’s services buckled under the strain. Social media has been flooded with annoyed and frustrated punters trying to score an ever-elusive ticket.
F@#$ing Useless….40 mins and counting pic.twitter.com/GYRK5bPC7H
— Dianne (@H4LDC) August 27, 2018
— James Duggan (@james_duggan) August 28, 2018
Australia! The technological and innovative marvel. Unveils new technology via @Ticketek_AU the 15 seconds to explosive rage countdown timer. Well done Australia! That’s getting off the sheep’s back! #noidea #AFL #AFLFinals #tickets 🤦 pic.twitter.com/Tpzn23yB82
— Adam Krongold (@Guverna) August 27, 2018
Got to payment screen. Nek minut pic.twitter.com/cOmtg4JmLP
— Derryvale Dairy (@derryvale) August 27, 2018
Ticketek’s official social media feeds have been scrambling to deal with the customer complaints all morning, with official indications suggesting that the “allocation exhausted” and sold out notifications punters have been seeing are inaccurate.
Hey guys, thanks for your patience. Site is up and running. Thousands of fans are transacting right now. #AFL
— Ticketek Australia (@Ticketek_AU) August 27, 2018
AFL clubs have been issuing support notifications via Twitter as the ticketing crisis has continued.
For members having issues purchasing tickets, please try clearing your cart 🛒. If an error is still occurring, try clearing your browsing history and re-opening the @Ticketek_AU site. Tickets are still available.
— Richmond FC 🐯 (@Richmond_FC) August 27, 2018
The GIANTS are aware of issues this morning with members trying to purchase tickets through @Ticketek_AU.
Ticketek are doing everything possible to rectify ASAP.
We’ll keep you posted with updates as they come to hand.
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) August 28, 2018
Swans members please note:
🚨There is a high volume of people on the @Ticketek_AU site.
🚨 We still have tickets for our game so please keep trying!
🚨Ensure your cart is cleared and be mindful of the timer.
— Sydney Swans (@sydneyswans) August 28, 2018
Neither the AFL nor Ticketek have issued official comment on the ticketing status for the games, and are yet to confirm which – if any – are legitimately sold out at this time.
We’ll update this story as it develops.