- Despite the official line that the status quo remains, it seems SA Rugby and Lions tour ticketholders are staring a refund process in the face.
- With the tour looking increasingly unlikely to take place in South Africa, the terms and conditions of sale means fans will have to get their money back.
- SA Rugby told ticketholders last week that they'll be first to know if "outcomes affect their ticketholding".
SA Rugby and the myriad supporters eager to witness this year's British & Irish Lions tour first-hand are increasingly staring a full-scale refund process in the face.
The continued uncertainty over the status of the tour, scheduled to commence in South Africa in July, has left ticketholders in the lurch though it seems increasingly unlikely that the series will continue in its current format.
Attendance of sporting events is still not permitted under government's level one restrictions and, with experts still concerned over a potential third wave of Covid-19 infections in autumn, there's no guarantee of that regulation being altered anytime soon.
Officially, the status quo for ticketholders remain.
"At this stage we're unfortunately not able to provide any certainty yet regarding the status of the British & Irish Lions tour, which naturally impacts ticketing," Sarah Mundy, marketing manager for the tour, said.
"As soon as confirmed information is available, we'll be directly in touch with relevant stakeholders alongside ticketholders to let them know the outcomes and how it affects their ticket holding."
However, an understandable undercurrent has emerged of SA Rugby priming supporters for the seemingly inevitable disappointment of getting their money back due to the tour not taking place on local shores.
The governing body last week sent e-mail correspondence to all ticketholders, stating: "We can assure you is that the terms and conditions of your ticket purchase should give you the comfort that you are entitled to a refund of the ticket price if the match that you have bought tickets for does not go ahead as planned."
Mundy reiterated that statement.
"We're sorry we can't be more definitive at this stage, but the progression of the pandemic is of such a nature that scenarios change from week-to-week and even from day-to-day."
Last year's opening of the ticket ballot saw the applications for the three Test matches being over-subscribed by an incredible 574%, vividly illustrating the immense interest in the tour.
Should the feared refunding process become a reality, it should be relatively seamless if the relevant payment method used for purchases has remained the same.
It's understood that there's no clarity yet on a new ticketing ballot process should the main contingency plan of hosting the tour in the United Kingdom as there's been no confirmation on whether fans will be allowed into stadiums.