The International Swimming League has proposed three options for ticketholders for their Playoff matches who are no forbidden from attending because of new Dutch COVID-19 safety regulations.
The first option is offering, in lieu of refund of tickets, a free subscription to the ISL’s streaming platform until the end of season three, plus a 10% discount voucher on Season 4 subscriptions. The ISL is valuing the subscription for the remainder of Season 4 at 29.00€, or about $33. To buy the remaining matches a la carte would cost $36, just slightly less than the full-season price of $45 for most of Europe.
The second option is to make a “donation” to the ISL, allowing the league to keep the ticket money without refund, and in exchange retrieve merchandise of the same value as the ticket from the Zwemstadion Pieter van den Hoogenband in Eindhoven.
That option is plausible for local ticket buyers, though anecdotally there was a substantial legion of fans who planned to come from across Europe – especially Italians who were eager to watch superstar Federica Pellegrini swim her last professional races.
The option highlights another cost from the inability to host spectators: no spectators means no merchandise sales, which results in a loss of revenue and no easy way to recoup the expenses of that merchandise.
The league is also offering a third option, which is a full refund. That option was presented in their response to ticket holders as the 3rd option, after very long descriptions of the first two options.
Up to 1,500 tickets were available for each of the 12 days of playoff competition, and ticket prices were listed from from 5 Euros to 25 Euros ($6 to $29). That adds up to a maximum of 18,000 tickets and a few-hundred thousand dollars in potential ticket revenue for a league that founder Konstantin Grigorishin says is costing him about $25 million to operate this season, plus the lost money from the merchandise.
The league has not shared information about how many tickets were actually sold.
The email that was sent to ticket holders is below:
Dear [Ticket holder],
As you are aware, on 12 November 2021 the Government of the Netherlands announced it was tightening up measures to combat the sharp increase in coronavirus infections and to avoid putting further pressure on the overburdened national healthcare sector. The health of ISL athletes, our staff and our fans has always been our utmost priority and we are meticulous in our compliance with the rules and regulations of countries and communities where we organize our competitions. Unfortunately, the newly-imposed measures prohibit the attendance of ISL events by the general public until at least Friday, 3 December 2021.
Having reviewed various alternatives, we are pleased to propose to the ISL Play-offs ticket holders the following alternatives:
1. Receive an immediate free subscription to the ISL digital streaming platform at www.isl.global valid until the end of the ISL Season 3 (including the Final match) worth 29.00€ + a 10% discount voucher to the ISL Season 4 subscription. To choose this option, please click the button below and follow the instructions provided. Please have your ticket number at hand, as you will be required to provide it;
2. Make donation to the ISL, by [cancelling your ticket purchase]. Ticket-holders who opt to make a donation to the ISL will be entitled to choose items from the ISL Official merchandise corresponding to the value of the ticket purchased at the Zwemstadion Pieter van den Hoogenband, in Eindhoven. Come quickly while stocks last! The ISL Official merchandise store is open from 1pm to 6pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
3. If you decide not to choose either of the above-mentioned options, the refund can be requested through the button below
We apologize for the inconvenience caused and want to thank you once more for your support!
We stand together with the local communities and the authorities trying to keep everyone healthy and safe!