Super rugby high ticket prices upset Samoan rugby fans

Samoan rugby fans are angry at being charged up to $250 to see the Blues take on the Reds in Apia on June 2.

The match at Apia Park will be the first Super Rugby match played in Samoa.

But locals feel the tickets - which range from $40 tala to $500 tala (about $NZ20-$NZ250) - are too steep.

NZ Herald reports general admission adult tickets to watch the Blues v Cheetahs at Eden Park on Friday night cost $21.50.

Many have voiced their concerns via social media, calling for some tickets to be made available more cheaply.

Samoa Rugby Union chief executive Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea'i acknowledged there had been some complaints about ticket prices for next month's game, but that the SRU was not involved in setting them. The Blues set the prices.

"While the role of the Samoa Rugby Union in this match is operational, we fully support and welcome the fixture and we are doing all possible to facilitate this match to the expected standard and assist to sell the match to the public.

"The ticket prices are set to assist recover the additional costs including Sky Television in bringing up their personnel [and] equipment to broadcast the match.''

Fepulea'i said the SRU was consulted about ticket prices for the historic All Blacks verses Manu Samoa test held at Apia Park in July, 2015.

For that test, the tickets were only a little more expensive than what tickets are for this match, and complaints from locals were received at that time also, Fepulea'i said.

"But the main problem is the capacity of Apia Park. Obviously there's only 4700 seats and then plus behind the goalposts - the embankments - which gives the capacity to around 8000."

A Blues spokesman said they were aware of the need to keep ticket prices as low as possible, but that the capacity of Apia Park affected that.

"The prices were set in discussion with Ticketmaster, the promoter and our partners in Samoa.

"The lowest price general admission ticket is equitable with the All Blacks game and less than our home games in New Zealand at a much larger venue."

The spokesman said there were significant additional costs for the Blues to take the game to Samoa - including accommodation for both teams, match officials and full staff and equipment for HD live coverage by Sky TV.

"The match needs to be financially viable if it is to be considered more than a one-off venture, with income only from sponsorship and ticket sales.''