Champs organisers target scalpers
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
With two days to go before the start of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium, organisers are reporting that its 'all systems go', with only several minor details yet to be worked out.
One constant feature of Champs and most major sporting events at the National Stadium is the presence of ticket scalpers, who peddle overpriced tickets to patrons outside the venue.
This remains one of the details that organisers of the March 30-April 2 meet will be hoping to work out, as they look to rid the event of the overpricing of resold tickets.
"I'm not sure what else can be done in all honesty, but we are determined to do the best we can in this area (scalping)," said chairperson of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships, Colleen Montague.
"We will certainly try to monitor it as much as we can to make sure that no one is buying excessive numbers. We are hoping to put a cap on it and we have the police working with us in the area and they will be on the lookout for unscrupulous persons who may be there," Montague added.
Officials have implemented a cap of three tickets per person, a move that was not very popular with a number of the individuals who were on hand at the ticket booth yesterday.
"It's necessary for us to do stuff like this to ensure or discourage the illegal resale of the tickets. Overall, it's a very difficult thing to manage because you really can't identify the persons who are looking to resell the ticket easily in all cases," Montague said.
Montague, who is also the principal at Wolmer's Girls, went on to advise that everything is in place for the four-day meet.
"We have all systems in place, we are basically just fine-tuning the things that we can't actually do until the day of Champs and we couldn't do prior to these days," said Montague. "Schools will be picking up their packages and schools are coming into Kingston on Tuesday (today), those who will be camping at various locations."
Asked whether or not she believes an adequate amount of tickets were left for purchase by the general public, Montague expressed satisfaction.
"We have tickets for all the other days," she pointed out. "Season tickets, the ones close to the finish line in the grandstand, of course, are finished, because that is already out there in the public domain. Those have been finished because they were pre-ordered from February.
"The Fair Trading Commission came in and they were satisfied with what they found because we had equity in our distribution so we are satisfied," said Montague.