The Principality Stadium’s Alcohol Free Zone (AFZ) is here to stay – the Welsh Rugby Union has confirmed, as tickets for the 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championship and November Barbarians game go on sale at a club near you.
After more than a dozen high profile matches over two years, a public straw poll of hundreds-of-thousands of fans, active surveying of 10s-of-thousands at matches and around 40,000 voting with their wallets – by purchasing specified tickets – the extensive AFZ trial has reached its conclusion.
An enhanced and upgraded Zone will now become a permanent fixture at all WRU-owned events at the Stadium, starting with Wales’ clash with the Barbarians in November and including the 2020 Championship title defence – when existing debenture holders will also be offered the opportunity to relocate to the new area.
New head coach, in-waiting (he takes over from Warren Gatland after the 2019 Rugby World Cup), Wayne Pivac’s Wales take on Italy, France and Scotland in Cardiff – in that order – in next year’s Championship and the AFZ will feature for the first time in the tournament, after the trial was conducted at matches outside of the flagship event.
First introduced in November 2018 for the Under Armour Series clash with Australia, the WRU opened its new Alcohol Free Zone at all four matches in the Series, Judgement Day events in both 2018 and 2019 and the four match autumn series in 2019, which included Scotland.
England and Ireland fans will also sample the delights of the 4,200 capacity Zone in the Principality Stadium’s North stand, which prohibits the consumption of alcohol in its seating, next month when they visit Cardiff for the Under Armour Summer Series.
The WRU did not trial the AFZ during the 2019 Six Nations as sold-out matches were deemed to reveal less about purchasing choices and intentions and, also, for reasons relating to timing.
Now widespread approval has been established, the WRU has moved quickly to remove any obstacles to making the Zone a permanent fixture at all Welsh rugby internationals and plan to further invest in infrastructure and resource to enhance the experience even more.
“Our Alcohol Free Zone trial has proved that there is a demand out there for this kind of offer and also that the current 4,200 seat provision is meeting that demand, so we are delighted to announce the Zone will be here to stay at all future Welsh rugby internationals and WRU-owned events at Principality Stadium,” said WRU CEO Martyn Phillips.
“The Zone will become a permanent offering from the 2020 Six Nations, and will be in place for the first time in that competition when Wales face Italy in the opening round.
“We also will be further investing in our current offering and infrastructure over the coming months to ensure that it meets the expectations of a Championship audience, this means improved choice in terms of food and non-alcoholic beverages and installing new concourse outlets in order to present a wider range of options for supporters in the zone.
“We know that the AFZ will now be a permanent fixture, but we are not going to stop here – as our customer expectations evolve so will our offering.
“We are determined to listen to our customers and examine all available options to continue to improve our customer experience.
“The AFZ trial is a great example of our modern iconic Stadium reacting to customer feedback and finding a workable solution which caters for a varying range of supporter requirements.
“A key takeaway lesson from the process has been that we must continue to listen in this way and continue to be responsive to a changing audience in changing times, in order to continue to provide the very best experience possible to all visitors.”
Ticket prices in the AFZ for the 2020 Guinness Six Nations are £60 for the Italy game and £90 to see France or Scotland.
Elsewhere U16s can watch Italy for £20 with prices ranging from £30, £50, £60 (including AFZ) to £65 and £75 depending on where they are situated in the ground.
Prices for France or Scotland are £40, £65, £90, £95 and £105, with the lowest category (£40) having been frozen at this price since 2017.
Tickets to watch Wayne Pivac’s Wales side take on a Barbarians team coached by Warren Gatland on 30th November – a double-header which also sees Wales Women face the Barbarians – are £10 U16s and £10, £20, £30, £40 and £50.
All four games are available now from a Welsh rugby club near you (and directly to debenture holders), with the public sale of any remaining tickets not brokered by clubs taking place from Thursday 5th September for the Baa-Baas game and from Friday 27th September for the Guinness Six Nations matches.
“All proceeds from ticket sales are fed directly back into the game at all levels,” added Phillips.
Tickets to the following matches are available from rugby clubs now (Wales’ clash with Ireland in the Under Armour Summer Series in Cardiff next month still has some tickets available via www.wru.wales/tickets):
- Wales v Barbarian F.C. Saturday 30th November 2019, Principality Stadium, Kick-off 2.45pm (Double header with Wales Women v Barbarians Women, Kick-off 11.45am)
- Wales v Italy, Guinness Six Nations Championship, Saturday 1st February 2020, Principality Stadium, Kick-off 2.15pm
- Wales v France, Guinness Six Nations Championship, Saturday 22nd February 2020, Principality Stadium, Kick-off 4.45pm
- Wales v Scotland, Guinness Six Nations Championship, Saturday 14th March 2020, Principality Stadium, Kick-off 2.15pm