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Rugby World Cup ticket sales process to be delayed

England Rugby 2015, the organisers of next year’s edition of the Rugby World Cup, has delayed the rugby community ticket sales process for rugby union’s showpiece national team tournament in order to allow for additional testing of Ticketmaster’s online ticketing system.

The rugby community ticket sales had been due to begin tomorrow (Friday) but will now instead take place from May 29 to June 2. A total of 500,000 tickets will be available to purchase during the initial sales period before up to one million tickets go on general sale from September 12-29. The live sales date has been delayed following a request from Ticketmaster to test the online ticket system.

The ticket sales and distribution company has faced criticism this week over its handling of ticket sales for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The Glasgow 2014 organising committee instructed its official ticketing agent Ticketmaster to close the Glasgow 2014 ticketing website and call centre following a flood of complaints from the public.

On Monday, an extra 100,000 tickets for the Games were released on a first come, first served basis, but the online system struggled to cope with demand and customers reported long waiting times and errors in the purchasing process. The website closed for one hour from midnight on Monday in an effort to fix the problems, but Glasgow 2014 instructed Ticketmaster to shut down the online system at 5pm on Tuesday until the issues were resolved.

David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said the organising committee met with the government earlier today (Thursday) and is hopeful of having tickets back on sale soon. “We’re pleased to have met with the Cabinet Secretary this morning to give her a full update on the progress being made in getting tickets back on sale to the public,” Grevemberg said. “This was a constructive and positive meeting where we outlined the options and testing required to ensure we can put tickets back on sale with confidence. Our priority is ensuring the experience of securing tickets for the Commonwealth Games is a positive one for all our customers and we look forward to sharing our plans tomorrow.”