Tuesday 24 October 2017

Poor demand forces IRFU to climb down on sales policy

Hugh Farrelly

THE IRFU have admitted they got it wrong with their ticketing policy for the November internationals and have performed an about-turn in the face of the furious reaction of rugby clubs across the country.

Clubs have been up in arms over the pricing of tickets, which were packaged in two-game deals at €190 for New Zealand/Argentina and €150 for South Africa/Samoa. The clubs were facing huge financial losses due to their struggles to sell to members at those prices and were reluctant to return unsold tickets for fear of jeopardising their Six Nations allocations.

Mistake

Last night, after a meeting of the IRFU management committee, the Union issued a statement where they admitted their mistake in the ticketing strategy and said they would only be seeking payment for tickets already sold.

The IRFU said their climbdown was a result of poor demand and confirmed that allocations for the Six Nations would not be affected by a lack of sales in November.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said they will review the issue of compensating clubs for unsold tickets after the November Internationals and that they would look at their entire pricing and bundling strategy.

"There has been slower than expected demand for the Guinness Series," said Browne. "There are a number of elements impacting on this situation since the sales structure was drawn up in March 2010, including a further significant deterioration in the economic climate.

"The IRFU do not want to see clubs suffer financial hardship as a result of being unable to sell ticket packages for this series and consequently will only seek immediate payment for tickets sold."

Irish Independent

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