BPL e-ticketing robs teams

Taolo Tlouetsile - BG correspondent
Tuesday, 13 December 2016
BPL e-ticketing robs teams

Two top BTC premiership clubs Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs this week   claimed to have lost business since the introduction of the e-ticketing system for their games. 

The two teams claim the e-ticketing system has brought more worries to clubs than the previous over-the-counter sales. Both Rollers and Chiefs have since agreed that the system is not client friendly.  In an interview this week, Rollers spokesperson Phempherethe Pheto dismissed the web ticket system as a headache for both clubs and the league. “It does not work well for our clientele and it is a challenge when it comes to accountability,” explained Pheto. 

The system was supposed to be piloted for a few games before the board can make a final decision. This publication is in possession of blank tickets provided for a recent premiership game. In addition, Pheto said the league has not provided them with a report concerning blank tickets or whether investigations were carried out in the matter.

He added that they are still waiting for findings.  Moreover, Pheto said they have since engaged the league on numerous accounts concerning the system. “I approached the Botswana Premier League (BPL) to address this matter. However, it seems BPL board supported the system,” said the Rollers spokesperson. Pheto cited poor network at Serowe Shoprite as one of the shortcomings that come with the system.

Rollers played many home games at Serowe Sports Complex last season. According to Pheto, the BPL board recently agreed to abandon the web tickets system, adding that the system was meant to stop tickets from being sold at the gates. Pheto, said the main challenge with web tickets is that clubs receive tickets very late especially at category A games. 

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs spokesperson, Clifford Mogomotsi shared the same sentiments as Pheto, arguing that the system has failed to live up to expectations. “It is a good initiative but it has teething problems, for example our stadiums do not have ticket reading machines, which means manual services are still needed,” Mogomotsi said.  Nevertheless, Mogomotsi expressed optimism that the league will resort to e-ticketing when resources permit.

The e-ticketing is used in developed countries where the network is good and the gadgets at stadiums are also electronic. Moreover, Mogomotsi explained that the exercise is costly but does not reduce their ticketing challenges. “We thought it was an improved version of what we had.”

Director at Web Tickets Cowell Habana said the project is handled by the BPL management committee. However, he admitted the committee engaged them concerning some teething challenges. “We received those complaints, management committee has engaged us, we agreed that point of sales are not enough and they needed to be increased. They also said we are expensive and we justified our costs,” he said.

Quizzed on the recent game between Rollers and Black Forest at the national stadium, Habana said, “Let me tell you what happened, clubs requested 3000 tickets to be printed for counter sale. However, the clubs seem to have underestimated the number of tickets that were in demand for the game. If you check out the local market, promoters use our system; we are currently selling tickets for about 34 events right now. How can 34 event managers be wrong?” wondered Habana.

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