Tickets from as little as R100 (£4.30) for next year’s British and Irish Lions tour will be available from September 2 following South Africa Rugby’s announcement of the prices and ballot process. The organisers have struck a balance between pricing for the biggest sporting event to hit South Africa since the 2010 FIFA World Cup while making the matches around the country remain highly affordable.

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The eight-match tour – which stretches across six cities over five weeks and kicks off in Cape Town on July 3 next year – has tickets available for public sale with the prices designed to make them attractive to South African residents.

“The top-priced tickets are comparable with what was charged 12 years ago when the Lions were last here,” said Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO. “But what is very different is that we have introduced four tiers of pricing for all matches – unlike the once-price-fits-all approach last time around.

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Lions legend Lawrence Dallaglio rewatches the opening Test of the 1997 tour to South Africa in the company of RugbyPass

“We have provided a range of price points for the public and, for instance, a family of four will be able to watch a match against one of the franchise teams for R1,000 (£43.60) in total, and for as little as R400 (£17.40) for a match in Port Elizabeth or Nelspruit.

“This is a once-in-a-decade commercial opportunity and we won’t shy away from acknowledging that we have to maximise the commercial opportunity that the extraordinary demand offers. At the same time, we have been sensitive to the South African fans and have some very affordable prices to watch the best of our local teams take on the Lions.”

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Ticket prices for matches against the DHL Stormers at Cape Town Stadium, the Cell C Sharks at Jonsson Kings Park and the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld range in price from R250 (£10.90) to R600 (£26). Tickets for midweek matches against a SA Invitational team in Port Elizabeth and against SA A at Mbombela Stadium are even cheaper ranging from only R100 (£4.30) to R350 (£15.20).

The cheapest Test match ticket is R500 (£21.80) – less than the price of a ticket to a 2019 Springbok Test – and increases to R1,250 (£54.50) and R2,000 (£87.20) to the top-priced ticket of R3,000 (£130.80).

South Africa, as a territory, has the majority ticket allocation and South African residents will have access to an affordable ticket pricing tier structure. “The British and  Irish Lions are unique in that they visit South Africa only once every 12 years, and we look forward to welcoming their thousands of fans to some warm South African hospitality,” added Roux.

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“This is the home of the Rugby World Cup champions, the Springboks, and the Lions will know they are in our den. More tickets will be available to home fans than to overseas fans – we want to meet them with an army of green to combat the sea of red.”

Roux said that it was critical for South Africans to note that there was only one route to secure tickets – by entering the ballot on www.lionstour2021.co.za. “We have had large-scale interest through www.lionstour2021.co.za and they will all receive an email with a link to the ticket site once the ballot opens.

“Any other South African-based fan can register on the site now or when the ballot opens. The ballot closes at midnight on September 16, after which we expect all the publicly available tickets to be allocated. It is critical that if you want tickets for the tour you register on the site before September 17.”

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