Ticket Fiasco Leaves Club Open To Criticism
As soon as the draw for the Scottish Cup fifth round was made every Hibs fan knew they'd face a struggle to get a ticket for the match against Hearts with the allocation being around 3500.
The success of winning the trophy last season brought expected results with booming season ticket sales and the highest average home attendance since the Turnbull's Tornadoes era but an increase in core support brings it's own problems when faced with distributing tickets for a match every man and his dog wishes to go to, season ticket holder or not.
Based on season ticket holder demand alone you stood a roughly 1 in 3 chance of securing a gold dust like brief for the match and the club stated there would be an equal availability between the ticket office and online sales.
This is where many supporters have called foul.
Those Hibs supporters who were used to queuing for hours in the good old days of old done what they used to. They got out their bed early and headed to the stadium in order to await the sales beginning. Some were there 15 hours before the official sale began, a true dedication to the cause.
There is a down side to this of course. The many who believe tickets should only be sold online or by telephone (have you ever tried to buy a concert ticket for a huge gig by phone?) gripe because some fans were 'guaranteed' tickets by queuing up for a minimum 6 hour period - lets call it a quarter of a day for good measure.
Exactly who would you consider more worthy of a ticket? Some guy or girl waiting outside on a cold night to give themselves the best chance of securing a ticket or someone who thinks civilisation started with the birth of the internet and think they'll just log on and get a ticket? Queuing? That's for the dafties who can't work a smartphone/laptop/PC...
Clearly the internet brigade weren't happy. Calling foul that those who braved the elements had been 'guaranteed' their tickets as Hibs dished out vouchers for those who crammed into the west stand to stand in solitude for hours on end.
The simple fact of the matter was that the club had announced it's intentions in regards means of sale so rather than moan about the unfairness of it all, they really only had to do what the others had done and get to the ticket office early.
An often heard argument was if it was online sales only then surely those computer illiterate souls who do queue up could get someone to purchase online for them but surely the same rules apply to them. If they don't want to queue- get someone else to do it?
Some of the posts on message boards are ludicrous. If they're not happy with the way the sales were conducted well, that's just tough. Just having internet access shouldn't guarantee you a ticket for the most sought after derby in recent years and hope this is never an attitude which prevails.
You could of course been an away season ticket holder which meant you were given first dibs on the tickets- thats the correct policy so in truth the most loyal fans are rewarded and rightly so.
Now, could the club have handled the sales better? Of course they could but tell me a club the length and breadth of the country which would have had a perfect sale in a similar situation?
The tie last season saw supporters use loyalty points to purchase tickets and it was a system which worked but due to the few rather than the many complaining regarding points being awarded for HSL membership it was scrapped and has led to fans being unhappy regarding this allocation and the subsequent divvy up.
Had loyalty points been in operation this time round there would still have been those who were unhappy simply because they never got a ticket and the whole process would rear it's head again.
Would fans be happier with a balloted system for away tickets? Is this fairer than the way yesterday's sales were handled? Well, not really. You'd still have those who missed out venting their anger online and no doubt flooding the club with baseless emails.
The fact is, when demand outstrips supply, people are going to be disappointed. Especially on the back of a Scottish Cup win and a tie, as holders, against your greatest enemy.
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