World Cup will prove costly for travelling supporters
Tickets for Ireland's 2015 Rugby World Cup pool games will be nearly THREE times more expensive than those in the 2011 competition.
After the dates and venues were confirmed yesterday, awkward Sunday evening kick-off times will ensure that accommodation and transport costs will push the costs well above four figures.
In New Zealand two years ago, it was possible for Irish supporters to attend all four of Ireland's pool games for under €400 (£333) but similar standard tickets this time around have pushed the price for the four games to just short of €1,000 (£833).
However, after the New Zealand RFU lost more than €40m (£33m) n the 2011 World Cup, England and IRB chiefs are under pressure to make this tournament as lucrative as possible.
Ireland supporters eager to see this country stage the competition in 2023 ahead of favourites South Africa would do well to heed the message – the ordinary fan will have to pay through the nose.
If Ireland make history and get beyond the quarter-final stage – where they may have to beat New Zealand – tickets for the final itself will range from €180 (£150) to a staggering €854 (£712).
If only the most expensive tickets can be sourced for each game, it would cost over €1,700 (£1417) for one person to follow Ireland all the way to a World Cup triumph.
After the opening September 19, 2.30pm clash with Canada at the Millennium Stadium, Sunday 27 September sees Ireland take on a qualifier from Europe at Wembley at 5pm.
The Olympic Stadium hosts Ireland's clash with Italy on Sunday 4 October at 5pm with Ireland meeting France at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday 11 October at 5pm in a likely pool decider.
Should Ireland lose that game, they will have a probable early afternoon meeting with the All Blacks, but they will remain in Cardiff. If Ireland beat France, they will have to prepare for a likely tie against Argentina.
England 2015 Chief Executive Debbie Jevans said: "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. Our ticketing programme is built for fans who support the Game week in week out, whilst encouraging a new generation fans through Rugby World Cup 2015."
Those paying over €60 (£50) to sit through Argentina play Tonga on a Sunday lunchtime in Leicester may beg to differ.
The key dates to purchase tickets are: January 1, 2014 – Travelling fan packages go on sale; February 2, 2014 – Hospitality packages go on sale; May/June 2014 – Tickets on sale to Rugby fans through Rugby clubs; September 2014 – General sale application process begins; November/December 2014 – Real time sale of remaining tickets.