Rugby World Cup is not a cheap date
Ticket prices are more expensive than Ireland’s recent game against the All Blacks
Ireland’s second Rugby World Cup 2015 pool game, against the Europe 2 qualifiers, will be at the 90-000 capacity Wembley Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images)
Irish fans will pay an average of €114 per ticket for Ireland’s four pool matches in the 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC) for mid range category C seats.
Tickets will cost €102 for the opening three pool games against Canada, a European qualifying team yet to be decided and Italy and €150 for the closing pool match against France for a total of €456.
For top-of-the-range category A seats, the four pool matches will cost €930 per person, or over €230 per game.
A premium level ticket for Ireland’s recent match against New Zealand in Aviva Stadium cost €95 with a seat for the game against Australia €75.
What will add to the travelling cost is only one of Ireland’s pool matches, the opening one against Canada is an early start, 2.30pm. The other three are scheduled for 5pm kick-offs, making it more difficult to fly in and out of either Cardiff or London on the same day.
Ireland open against Canada in the Millennium Stadium on September 19th before facing a European qualifier in Wembley Stadium on the evening of September 27th.
The qualifiers will be run in parallel with next year’s Six Nations championship, with the 16th-ranked team in the world, Georgia, 17th-ranked Romania, and 19th-ranked Russia all in the running for the European Nations Cup. The runner-up team in that competition will be placed in Ireland’s pool.
Ireland meets Italy on October 4th in the Olympic Stadium in East London and France back in Cardiff on October 11th, both matches kicking off at 5pm.
Some adult RWC 2015 tickets will cost twice as much as tickets for Uefa Euro 2012. The cheapest adult seats on offer in 2015 for the game against Canada are €60, while at the Euro 2012 football finals in Poland and Ukraine the least expensive ticket for a pool match was €30. Tickets for the Euro 2012 final ranged from €50 to €600
The RWC final kicks-off on October 31st at 5pm in Twickenham, with the cost of a ticket set at €180 for the cheapest seats and €857 for the best seats in the house.
Tickets for most of the matches in 2015 are also more expensive than in New Zealand four years ago.
Two thirds of the New Zealand matches (32 out of 48) were priced below the existing Test match prices of the time, while the cost of a seat in the Eden Park Final ranged from €233 to €747, with 10,000 of those in the lowest price category.
Children’s prices ranged from €9 to €20, depending on the pool game, while top adult ticket prices ranged from €42 to €90. Of the total 48 matches, 23 didn’t have a single ticket that cost more than €60.
Tickets for the matches, which will mostly take place in the larger capacity football grounds, go on sale in January of next year to travelling packages companies.
The Irish travel partner for the tournament is Club Travel, who expect to exceed the figure of 3,000 they took to the 2007 RWC in France.
Hospitality companies get the second bite in February and in May, rugby clubs will be offered tickets. This only applies to the UK as the RWC discontinued the practice of distribution through clubs via their federations in 2003.
The general sale of tickets takes place next September before the sale of remaining seats prior to Christmas next year.
2.3 million tickets
With 2.3 million tickets available for sale compared to New Zealand’s 1.65 million, England and Wales is clearly a bigger operation, with a much larger population and capacity to provide larger venues.
Wembley Stadium holds 90,00, while Twickenham’s capacity is 82,000 and the Olympic Stadium’s 80,000.
New Zealand’s Eden Park is a 60,000-seat venue, while the second biggest stadium in Wellington, the Westpac, holds 40,000. New Zealand even used Palmerston North, which was expanded to hold just 15,000 fans.
“Tournament organisers England 2015 and tournament owners the International Rugby Board today confirmed that at least 2.3 million tickets will be available across the tournament’s 48 matches,” said an IRB statement yesterday.
“The strategy has been designed to be as accessible and affordable as possible. The tickets will go on sale in 2014 in a staged process aimed at giving loyal rugby fans a fair chance of getting tickets, while also welcoming new fans into the game.
“We have a range of ticket prices for every budget – for fans and families who want to come to one of the world’s greatest sports events,” added England 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans. “Our ticketing programme is built for fans who support the game week in week out, whilst encouraging a new generation of Rugby fans through Rugby World Cup 2015.”