Company behind Ticket Rocket owes rugby franchises nearly $350k

Dunedin businessman Matthew Davey, along with a group of investors, has taken a five-year licence...
The company was directed by Canadian businessman Matthew Davey out of Dunedin but he is understood to have returned to Canada. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The embattled company behind Ticket Rocket is now in liquidation, owing nearly $350,000 to two Super Rugby franchises.

Fortress Information Systems Ltd was called before the High Court at Dunedin this morning but a no-show by the firm meant the hearing was brief.

Lawyers for both the Crusaders and the Hurricanes confirmed there remained an unpaid debt and there had been no steps taken by Ticket Rocket to oppose liquidation.

Associate Judge Kenneth Johnston made an order winding up the company and ordered liquidators costs would be paid from its assets.

Statements of claim from the plaintiffs reveal the Hurricanes contacted Ticket Rocket on June 22 regarding a debt of $186,149.

Nothing had been refunded since.

The Crusaders, meanwhile, filed documents with the court a couple of days later stating it was owed $155,549.

Ticket Rocket, which also traded as Ticket Direct, was put into receivership at the end of August.

The company was directed by Canadian businessman Matthew Davey out of Dunedin but he is understood to have returned to Canada.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge previously told the Otago Daily Times his organisation wanted to ensure it was in line to get some of the money out of the ticketing company and he believed appointing a liquidator would give it a better chance of that happening.

"We’re protecting the interests of our ticket holders and ourselves."

Mr Mansbridge said the Crusaders became aware of issues with Fortress Information Systems when customers had trouble getting their money back for season tickets after games were cancelled earlier in the year.

Ticket Rocket has sold tickets for events around New Zealand for about 20 years.

It ran into trouble earlier this year after it failed to refund money for events, leading promoters to demand money.

Under receivership, Ticket Rocket could sell tickets to Mitre 10 Cup rugby games, but now that liquidation is in motion, its trading will be halted.

It was selling tickets for the Hawke’s Bay and Waikato unions’ home games, but both of those organisations have had to reassure buyers online that money would be held by the respective rugby unions.

The company sold Super Rugby tickets for at least four of the five New Zealand franchises over the past couple of seasons but those agreements ended earlier this year. 

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