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All events at Aviva Stadium, including Ireland-Portugal match, to be covered by anti-touting law

Tickets have appeared online at three times their face value.

File photo - Ireland fans at the Aviva Stadium
File photo - Ireland fans at the Aviva Stadium
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Oct 27th 2021, 6:15 PM

ALL EVENTS AT the Aviva Stadium in Dublin are to be under new ticket touting legislation from midnight tonight following an outcry over an upcoming football qualifier. 

The FAI had earlier applied for next month’s sold-out World Cup qualifier against Portugal to be designated under ticket touting legislation after tickets emerged on sale online for more than face value. 

Tickets for the 11 November game against a star-studded Portugal squad sold out within an hour of going on general sale yesterday morning, but some have since surfaced online, some priced at three times their face value. The Association say anyone buying a touted ticket risks being denied entry to the game. 

The Sale of Tickets Act was enacted on 31 July this year, and bans the resale of tickets to live events, matches and concerts at a price above their face value.

Events must meet two criteria for the law to apply: the venue in which it is held must hold at least 1,000 paying customers, and the event organiser must be of the “reasonable opinion” that the event will be of sufficient demand that it will give rise to the secondary selling of tickets. 

Organisers can apply for designation for a venue/event free of charge, with applications available on the Department of Enterprise website. 

It’s now been confirmed that all ticketed events in the Dublin 4 arena will be designated as such an event. 

Fine Gael’s Seanad spokesperson on enterprise Senator Garret Ahearn said this evening that this will include the Ireland-Portugal match, and next month’s rugby international between Ireland and New Zealand, tickets for which go on sale tomorrow. 

“I’m delighted to see that the Aviva Stadium, with agreement from both the IRFU and the FAI, applied for, and has been granted, designation with effect from tomorrow. All future events in the Aviva now have blanket cover under the legislation,” Ahearn said this evening. 

All fans attending matches and events in the Aviva from tomorrow onwards can be safe in the knowledge that the necessary legislation is in place to protect them from price gouging. As one of the largest venues in the country, today’s announcement ensures that thousands of supporters will never have to face extortionate prices when hoping to attend a concert, match, or live event in the Aviva again.

Speaking earlier this afternoon Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar had  confirmed that the FAI had applied for the upcoming match to be designated. 

Varadkar also said that his department will now be taking a more proactive approach with regards to the legislation. 

“The legislation now largely puts the onus on the venue or on the promoter to apply for the event to be designated but I think the lesson from the Ireland v Portugal experience is that the Department needs to take a more proactive approach in this,” he said. 

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Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier today, Sinn Féin’s enterprise spokesperson Louise O’Reilly said the government needs to take a good hard look at how it can be proactive and help fans avoid being impacted by ticket touts. 

She added the FAI should also have applied for the event to be designated, but if the industry isn’t going to be proactive then the onus is on the government to work to protect fans. 

Ireland cannot qualify for the 2022 World Cup, but can greatly hamper Portugal’s qualification prospects with a win on Thursday, 11 November. 

The game will be the first Irish soccer international to be played before a 51,000 sell-out capacity crowd in two years, since a 1-1 draw with Denmark in a thwarted bid to qualify for Euro 2020. 

With reporting by Gavin Cooney and Rónán Duffy

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