RFU to take Twickenham hospitality sales in house

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) will soon deliver its own match-day hospitality at Twickenham Stadium, through its new England Rugby Hospitality division.

England Rugby Hospitality will begin operating immediately alongside Twickenham’s official licensed operators, before becoming the exclusive hospitality provider from autumn 2018.

In addition, the home of England Rugby in London is having its East Stand redeveloped, adding 11,600sqm of space over six levels. The new hospitality areas will be distinctive in design, while building on the stadium’s existing hospitality offerings. The upgrades will aim at diversifying the hospitality options in an effort to appeal to and attract new audiences.

A source close to the deal says: “The redefinition is all because of the East Stand development and the RFU not wanting a myriad of official hospitality partners, and instead wants to control the whole brand, all within the stadium.

“England Rugby Hospitality is the entity being set up by the RFU and supported by Keith Prowse that sits within TEL to market and sell all match day hospitality within Twickenham Stadium from 2018/19.”

Fans will be provided with a range of new options from informal dining experiences at ‘The Gate’, a chop house themed restaurant serving quality meats, paired with premium wines and real ale, to a more upmarket restaurant offering, ‘The Lock’, serving classic English food with a contemporary twist.

The ‘East Wing’ will consist of large lounge spaces with bars and a concierge service, as well as having dual aspect views of the match pitch and terraces overlooking the London landscape. Finally the ‘Rose Garden’ will be an authentic roof garden with a mix of live cooking and live music.

Steve Brown, RFU chief executive, said: “We are excited about the prospects of owning, designing and delivering the only official match day hospitality offering at Twickenham Stadium from autumn 2018. England Rugby Hospitality will not only diversify our hospitality offering and create more choice, but it will also transform fans’ match day hospitality experience.

“The new upgrade to the East Stand will create a quality, consistent offering to cater for a range of existing and new audiences. Through direct provision of official hospitality we will better understand our customers and also be in a position to generate additional revenue which will be invested directly back into rugby at all levels.”

The new venture will also see Keith Prowse, the RFU’s long-standing official hospitality agent, become exclusive sales agent for England Rugby Hospitality. The RFU is now also looking to recruit various roles including sales, finance, marketing and customer relationships management positions.

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