Industry News

Juventus president says capacity has fed touting problem

Juventus president, Andrea Agnelli, says the small capacity of the Italian Serie A football club’s stadium has encouraged ticket touting.

The Italian Football Association’s (FIGC) disciplinary commission has been looking into Juventus’ involvement in providing tickets to the club’s fans group, the Ultras, who are alleged to have been infiltrated by organised crime.

Speaking to an anti-mafia commission, the Football Italia website reports, Agnelli said that the Juventus Stadium’s capacity of just 41,507 – which is 25,000 less than the club’s previous permanent home ground, the Stadio delle Alpi – has led to a surge in touting. Juventus moved to its current home in 2011.

“We were caught by surprise in having to manage a stadium which is too small and sold-out every Sunday,” said Agnelli, whose club has made the 2017 Uefa Champions League final.

“Ticket touting should be opposed, even if I think that one person giving a ticket for the game to another can’t be criminalised.

“What’s different is getting tickets purely for profit, that has to be fought and digital technology is widening it, thanks to the use of so-called ‘bots’, software which allows you to conclude a large number of transactions in a matter of seconds.

“If I think of the [Champions League] final we will proudly play in Cardiff, I go online and I can find tickets going for €3,000 (£2,580/$3,340) to €5,000.

“These are absurd prices, but events like this generate huge interest, where supply is far lower than demand. That’s a source of pride for us, but also a problem.

“The complexity and the geographic dynamics of our fanbase have meant that, in wanting to organise the fans correctly, it created space for people looking to profit off sales.”