SWANSEA students were furious after being forced to spend up to five hours queuing to collect their Varsity tickets on campus.
Around 3,500 students who bought the Welsh Varsity package online were told to pick up the tickets from the Varsity marquee on Monday 18 March from 1 – 5pm only.
Many students waited for hours only to find that tickets had run out. They then had to return the following day to queue again outside Fulton Outfitters to pick up their packages.
Students were also told to collect their tickets with their friends to ensure that they were seated together and some missed lectures to ensure they could be allocated groups of seats.
The annual Welsh Varsity is organised by the University Varsity group from Swansea and Cardiff.
The students’ union Marketing and Events manager, Russell Wade said:
”Unfortunately when 3,500 students are collecting packages on one day there will always be a queue. We were asked by the University Varsity group to arrange a collection on one day and due to limited storage space for the volume of t-shirts this was the only way it could be carried out.
“Reports show us that we completed ten collections a minute and managed to sit every student with their friends, an achievement we are very proud of.”
However, Leigh Moss, a Marine Biology student, waited for three hours to be told she could not be seated with her friends: “Three hours wait and I didn’t even get seats with my friends. We’re students, this is a stressful week of deadlines, vital lectures and practicals… We don’t have time to queue for so long.”
Students have suggested spreading the collection out through the week to relieve the queuing system.
A second year English Literature and History student, Ina Pace, said: “I waied four hours and having it on one day is ridiculous. They should anticipate the queue and spread out the collection through an entire week.”
Michael Simmons, the Entertainment Co-Ordinator of the students’ union said match tickets ran out because the high demand was unexpected and because staff illness prevented more tickets being made available quickly.
There were also problems in the online sales when the ticket website crashed due to a fault within the Athens log in system.
Some students have suggested buying the tickets from Ticketmaster in future due to convenience and the option to have allocated seats at time of booking.
Michael Simmons said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our students who queued that day for being so co-operative and patient. It’s not ideal and it’s obvious that we don’t want you to be queueing for that period of time, it’s purely unfortunate circumstances and an overwhelming spike in sales that we could never predict. The good news from all of this of course is that come the 24th April, the streets of Cardiff will well and truly be overtaken by the Green and White Army of Swansea University.”