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Slashing ticket prices to cost rugby chiefs £940k

Rugby chiefs will lose more than €1.1m (£940k) in revenue by slashing ticket prices for the upcoming Six Nations games at Lansdowne Road.

Yesterday's drastic move by the IRFU came after none of the first four international rugby games at the redeveloped stadium sold out — despite matches against world champions South Africa and number one ranked New Zealand.

The new ticketing strategy introduces a tiered system with prices varying according to the location of the seats.

Previously, all seats had cost the same with the two upcoming games against England and France set to cost €200 (£170) for a two-game package.

The new price reductions range from 10% at category one level to over 60% for schoolchildren, and will apply to 30,000 tickets for each game.

Despite the reductions, some 20,700 of these tickets will still cost over €80 (£68).

Ireland's Six Nations games against the auld enemy and France have traditionally sold out.

“You couldn't be confident of that (this year),” an IRFU spokesman said last night.

“It's obvious that we'd gotten it wrong — you saw the numbers that were there during the Guinness Series.

“You couldn't be confident of it. We fully understood that we had to change our prices to reflect the market and we had to reflect that.

“Those two games are obviously the most-popular and have sold out before so we're hopeful that these ticket prices reflect what the public are happy to pay.

“But it's about finding the balance as international fixtures play a key role in generating the income required to manage and develop the game at all levels.”

The difference in total income from a sold-out game at €100 a seat compared to a sold-out game under the new pricing structure is €565,000.

The IRFU has split the tickets into six categories, with prices ranging from €15 for 1,800 schoolboy/schoolgirl tickets to 3,200 premium level tickets at a cost of €125.

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