Kataller Toyama announced on Tuesday that it will be inviting unfortunate fans, who could not purchase tickets to the club’s Emperor Cup tie at the Toyama Stadium two weeks ago, to this weekend’s league match against SC Sagamihara.
The football club, which plays in Japan’s third-tier J3 League, will provide complimentary Main Stand non-reserved seating tickets at a specially-designated ticket booth to those fans who turned up at the stadium to see their team play against the highly-fancied J-League Division 1 side Vegalta Sendai in the Emperor’s Cup on August 14 but ultimately were turned away from entering the venue empty-handed.
Fans who could not purchase tickets on the day, and young fans who had to purchase more expensive tickets to see the match, will all be given free tickets this weekend.
The cup match in question was hosted by the Toyama Football Association (TOYFA), and although the match attracted only 3,238 spectators, out of 15,410 seats that the TOYFA were selling, between 30 to 50 fans who turned up at the stadium on the day to purchase tickets were told by the TOYFA officials that all physical match-day tickets had sold out and they could not enter the venue.
The TOYFA later admitted that they had only around 1,510 physical tickets (10% of all available seats for the match) to be sold at the stadium while the rest (the other 90% being 13,870 tickets) were specifically put aside for online purchases which proved to be not as popular as anticipated. This resulted in a rather embarrassing situation where fans could not attend the match even though the stadium looked empty.
The incident also outraged the parents of young football fans as the TOYFA told them that the child tickets (for young fans aged 5 to 15) had sold out and they would have to purchase more expensive high school student tickets if they still wanted to enter the stadium. Following widespread criticism, the TOYFA has published a statement on their official website.
It said: “The TOYFA will refund JPY500 (£3.86) per high school student ticket to every young fan who were eligible for child tickets but could not purchase them on the day and had to buy high school student tickets to enter the stadium on Wed 14 Aug for Kataller Toyama’s Emperor Cup tie with Vegalta Sendai. The fans applicable can fill the ticket refund application form and fax/post it with the physical match ticket to the TOYFA before the end of September to claim their refund.”
News provided by The Stadium Hub