The cartoon that appeared in this morning’s Sunday Morning Post here in Hong Kong says it all:
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) ‘fat cat‘ gleefully rubbing its paws as it kicks the rugby ball into the South Stand.
The Union, organiser of undoubtedly the biggest Sevens tournament on the HSBC Sevens World Series, this week announced a whopping 20 % increase in the 3-day ticket price. However, the cost of a child ticket was halved to HK$150. HKRFU chairman Trevor Gregory countered by saying that this give-and-take exercise by the Union means that the overall cost for a family ‘remains the same.’
Gregory also justified the 20% increase by saying that his organisation has to save for a rainy day (the Sevens was canceled during the SARS outbreak). This from arguably the richest sports organisation in this part of the world.
That the ‘fat cat‘ in the cartoon kicks the ball into the in-famous South Stand says a lot, for it is not families who ensure the success of ticket sales, but the thousands of revelers from all over the globe who cough up the HK$1250 (last year’s price) to have a right royal party.
Given the prevailing financial situation in the world today, increasing ticket prices by as much as 20% is tantamount to kicking that ball right up the fans’ backsides.
That, Trevor Gregory… is not Ayoba.