According to this report from Scrum.com and from the Irish Times, the Ireland Rugby Union is sticking firm to its plan to sell tickets to the national team’s November test matches against South Africa, Samoa, Argentina and New Zealand only as a pack – not individually.
Quote from Scrum.com:
“(M)eaning that those wishing to attend the games at the redeveloped Lansdowne Road venue would have to fork out a grand total of €340 (£280).”
I understand the need for Irish Rugby to keep money coming in, especially since Rugby is (according to the IRFU) the only truly professional sport in the nation, and still has to compete with soccer, Gaelic Football and other sports for fans. But not to offer tickets to individual games instead of the entire block of matches is a bad plan, because some people aren’t going to want to see all of those games and others can probably afford to go to one game, but not all of them (The Irish Times also points out that this is a 21% increase over tickets from last year) It’s not a good way to bolster fan support in the building to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, especially in an economic crunch.
This comes in the middle of a public relations campaign to resist proposals by the Irish Government to allow Six Nations and Heineken Cup games to be shown over the air for free. Will this strategy work for the short or long term for Irish Rugby? We’ll find out.