Everyone knew that the demand for tickets about this fixture would have been quite high. With more than 3,000 tickets already sold in campaign packages (all the 5 home games at discounted prices) and 1,250 tickets allocated to the English FA for the travelling fans, there was little left to buy for the fans who were aiming at getting a single ticket for this game.
Precisely, 1,800 tickets were made available this morning by the Estonian FA through the usual channel of Piletilevi.ee, an online ticket agency which is the main partner of Estonian football.
Another amount of tickets (the stadium capacity will be stretched up to 10,200 seats) is as usual reserved to sale via clubs within the countries. The remaining amount was made available as a re-sale of remaining packages (500).
The 1,800 coupons went sold-out in less than 30 minutes since the sale opened today (11th of September) at 10am local time.
‘Rumori’ was at one of the many Piletilevi desks (purchase was also available online) to try and see to get one ticket and understand whether the system worked smoothly.
The memory goes back to 2011 when, for the play-off against Ireland, the system tilted leaving many people without a ticket during the purchase process.
Did it go any better? Let’s see.
We arrive at the desk of Kristiine Keskus (a popular shopping center just a couple of bus stops from the city center) on time for the opening of the sale and already two young boys are in front of us queueing. It's quite a short queue for such a big sale, many people will be trying online from their computers.
The desk is managed by the Prisma supermarket info point which is directly connected with Piletilevi system. Booking from there, is like booking online basically.
The two guys in front of us, they manage to get a ticket in C5 sector (the second floor above the Estonian fans sector, 'Lõunatribüün' - South stand) and they leave quite happy.
It’s about 10.15, so the sale has started since a quarter of an hour.
We go for the ‘Põhjatribüün’ - North stand - and the upper floor sectors (C13, C15, C16, C17) where the system shows plenty of spaces (more than 20 seats available. There are three different colours showing: white (free) blue (booked or in the process of being booked) red (there’s a problem with the system). The white spots are the large majority. We're optimist about getting a ticket.
We tell the lady at the desk we just need one, not more.
Here the problems start. She tries to select any (and when we mean ‘any’, we really mean ‘any’) of the white seats, however none of them is available. She tries for 10 minutes. By that time, all places seem to be gone. One guy behind us, he is invited to go to the nearby Statoil gas station to buy, we try our luck more as the system is definitely the same. This until 10.30am
Soon all seats are shown as red, the employee gives up: ‘there’s a problem with Piletilevi, we cannot do anything’ and returns to her usual desk activities. Earlier, she tried to get some advice over the phone from Piletilevi, however it seems that there’s not much they can do either (!).
It happened again. A big event, and many people left without a ticket under their nose for a system failure.
I am not an expert in servers, however it seems that theirs are not able to bear huge demands. Admittingly, they usually do not have to face these high demands against such little availability, however, why not being prepared earlier?
If you have similar stories about this sale, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org