The LTA has experienced a series of unfortunate computer glitches over the past days as the web site for sales of tickets for the summer tournaments crashed, and roll-out of its planned ClubSpark log-in migration experienced issues when it went live, causing postponement.
We’re aware that you may have experienced problems buying tickets to our summer grass court tournaments. This is due to The Ticket Factory experiencing significant technical issues site-wide this morning across all of their events. We sincerely apologise for the frustrations this has caused, as we know many of you have spent so much time and effort to try and purchase tickets. LTA message to fans
An apology was made to LTA’s Advantage scheme members after their exclusive pre-sale opportunity to purchase tickets for Queen’s Club, Birmingham and Eastbourne developed technical issues on The Ticket Factory website, resulting in a large number of complaints.
The Ticket Factory website crashed under heavy demand at 10 am on Wednesday, prompting a lashing on social media after several users reportedly were kicked off after having waited for two hours in an online queue.
Visitors were advised that there would be a delay and sales would resume at 2pm but further technical issues saw users losing tickets from their baskets before being able to complete the purchase.
A spokesman for The Ticket Factory later claimed that ‘tickets were sold at an incredibly fast rate’ when the problems were eventually solved.
“We’re aware that you may have experienced problems buying tickets to our summer grass court tournaments,” an LTA message to fans read. “This is due to The Ticket Factory experiencing significant technical issues site-wide this morning across all of their events.
“We sincerely apologise for the frustrations this has caused, as we know many of you have spent so much time and effort to try and purchase tickets.”
It is estimated that 15,000 tickets should have been available on Wednesday morning.
LTA Advantage members pay £20 a year for early access to tickets amongst other benefits.
The online sale of about 80,000 Wimbledon tickets in June is run separately by the All England Club which, according to reports, has no intention of using The Ticket Factory.
Meanwhile, ClubSpark, which provides time saving tools for LTA venues and coaches, signalled in mid April that it was making a change to how clubs and their members’ login to the platform, which hitherto had had different methods for LTA members and others.
The aim was to migrate non-members to a single LTA login by either linking them to an existing account or creating a new free one via ‘a simple process that should take 2-3 minutes’.
From Tuesday, all ClubSpark users would be prompted to update their ClubSpark account, but within hours the LTA issued an email statement: “LTA/ClubSpark Login Migration Rollback – We have had to roll this back due to the unexpected issues many admins and users were experiencing when changing over their details.
“This was tested rigorously prior to being released, and unfortunately, unexpected issues arose when it went live.
“If you, or any of your members, updated your login then you will need to continue to use your newly created LTA login as your previous credentials are no longer within the system and no longer in use.
“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused, and we hope to get the issues it caused resolved ASAP.”
On 20 April the LTA announced a new three-year partnership with ClubSpark to continue providing their online booking platform free of charge to all LTA registered venues and accredited coaches.
The deal continues the relationship between the national governing body for tennis in Great Britain and ClubSpark, and sees the platform re-branded as LTA ClubSpark.
ClubSpark is a simple and flexible online venue management system that is designed to make life easier for LTA Registered tennis venues and LTA Accredited coaches.
“This is a very positive step for us; it forms a key part of our work to boost engagement in our sport through digital technologies and to continue to support LTA registered coaches and venues to deliver tennis to as many people as possible,” Chris Pollard, LTA Digital & Events Director, said.
“We will be working closely with Sportlabs to continuously improve the platform and user experience for coaches and venues.
“We have seen an encouraging recent growth in participation and we are looking forward to working with Sportlabs over the next three years to continue that positive trajectory.”
Dave Vibert-Ward, ClubSpark Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are extremely committed to working in partnership with the LTA to continue to help to showcase tennis to more people.
“In the past 12 months we have seen significant growth in adoption of the ClubSpark platform, including doubling the number of venues offering online court bookings.
“Over the coming three years we will be working closely with the LTA, Clubs, Coaches, and other tennis providers to further increase the capabilities of the ClubSpark platform.”