World Cup organisers have re-affirmed that they will not be discounting tickets in the build-up to the tournament, after eagle-eyed fans spotted changes to availability for the opener at St James’ Park.
England take on Samoa in Newcastle on October 15, with a sell-out crowd expected to kick-off the event.
However, some areas of the ground appear to have been re-categorised in recent days.
This means more tickets are available in the Category D (£55/£20) and Category E (£30/£15), in areas that had previously been classed as Category C (£70/£30).
Some other areas have also been re-classified, which organisers say feel better reflect the quality of tickets available and seats will be allocated appropriately when tickets are issued.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE 🔍
Here are two screenshots of the 'price map' for England v Samoa at #RLWC2021 . One from a couple of weeks ago, the other from today
Several price cuts have been made. If you bought early, you may have ended up out of pocket. Not a way to pay back loyalty. pic.twitter.com/hscoU31b6R
— The Tryline 🏉 (@TrylineUK) August 16, 2022
World Cup response to “price cuts”
Jon Dutton, Rugby League World Cup 2021 CEO, said: “Tickets for the opening fixture at St James’ Park are selling very well with Categories D and E having either sold out already or projected to sell out soon.
“With this high demand in mind, and in the context of appreciating the increasing pressure on personal finances, we have taken the decision to proportionately make as many Category D and E tickets available as we can to ensure the tournament kick-off is accessible to as many people as possible.
“It is important to note that ticket prices have not been discounted and remain as originally set in 2020, ensuring any spectators who bought tickets in the ballot and initial general sale got the best price and the best available seats.”
The mid-tier of the Leazes West Corner was previously a Cat C, but will now be Cat E.
The middle part of the top tier of the Leazes Stand has also been downgraded from Cat C to Cat D, while there are fewer Cat B areas in the bottom tier.
The rear of the Gallowgate Stand has also had several Cat D and Cat E areas added, having predominantly been Cat C previously.
Organisers have been keen to move away from common theme of discounting tickets for big events in rugby league; and that fans next to each other in the same area will have paid the same amount for their ticket.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Newcastle Quayside will host a World Cup fan village ahead of the opener.
It will take place on Friday October 14 and Saturday October 15, running from underneath the Tyne Bridge through to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
As well as the England v Samoa game, Newcastle will host Scotland v Italy at Kingston Park on Sunday October 16.
Mick Hogan, who was previously with Newcastle Rugby and is now part of the World Cup team, said: “We know from previous rugby events that have been hosted in Newcastle, that the Quayside is the perfect place for fans to enjoy the big match atmosphere. With St James’ Park a short walk away, the Fan Village will be a great place for the build up to the opening match of the tournament as well as post game in the evening.
“The excitement is really building now as we get closer to first game and the plans for the RLWC2021 Fan Village only add to that anticipation. There will be something for everyone in the Fan Village and we look forward to welcoming rugby league fans and those without match tickets to the Quayside.”