CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Rugby fans will have two weeks in early September to register for tickets for the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa, while officials say the tour could be pushed back - possibly to 2022 - if the coronavirus pandemic halts travel.
South African Rugby said on Tuesday the ballot registration will be from Sept. 2 to 16, with successful candidates confirmed on Sept. 25.
The Lions will play three tests, two in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town, on an eight-match tour from July 3-Aug. 7 next year.
Tickets for the three tests will be available from 500-3,000 rand ($29-$173), with SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux suggesting the top-end price is comparable to when the Lions last toured the country in 2009.
“We have kept the bulk of the tickets for the South African fan-base having pre-agreed a number with the British & Irish Lions,” he told journalists.
There have been fears that COVID-19 may yet play a role in restricting travel, and Roux has said that would in all likelihood see the tour moved to 2022.
“Travelling for international events will likely still be under more pressure than pre-COVID (in July 2021),” he said.
“No spectators and people not being able to travel would not make this commercially viable and then we would discuss how we continue with the tour.
“There has been some talk of moving it out (to a new date), but our travel advice is that by June/July we should be at what is deemed to be normal international travel.
“But we are monitoring it on a monthly basis.”
Roux said full refunds for tickets and package tours would be offered if the tour is cancelled.
He said supporters wishing to register can only do so at www.lionstour2021.co.za.
Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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